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While the Health Select Committee deliberated the Save the Lumsden Maternity Centre petition, a fourth baby was born in the Lumsden area today at noon without making it to a primary birthing unit, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“While we were deliberating my petition to save the centre a fourth baby was born in the area, this time at the emergency child and maternal hub in Lumsden,” Mr Walker says.

“While no report was signed off today by the committee, this is further reason as to why the Lumsden Maternity Centre needs to be a primary birthing unit.”

“Even though this was the fourth birth in the area, it was the first birth where a second midwife has been on site.”

“The birth, which took an hour and a half, allowed time for a second midwife to be called to the hub. However, for the rural Southland mother, it did not enable enough time for her to travel to Invercargill, more than an hour away, where she had planned to give birth.”

“It is upsetting to hear the mother was disappointed there was no gas available for pain relief, which would have been if Lumsden was still a primary birthing unit.”

“It is time the Government steps up for the safety of rural mothers and babies in Southland.”

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