Northern Southland midwives will be forced to rely on an untested system as the back-up midwife based in Lumsden finishes today, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.
“Midwives will now have to rely on a Facebook messenger group chat if one of their expectant mothers goes into labour.
“Nine midwives from across Southland have kindly offered their services for free to back up local midwives in the area who form this group.
“When an expectant mother goes into labour, a message will be sent, and the midwife will rely on someone seeing and reacting to the message in time.
“The system is completely untested and expectant mothers in Fiordland are anxious.
“In one instance a mother has moved out of the area for two months to have her baby because of the uncertainty around giving birth in Fiordland.
“It is an absolute disgrace from this Government to deny there is a problem here.
“The problems that occurred after the Lumsden Maternity Centre was downgraded are still happening now.
“Midwives are now having to rely on a makeshift, untested system which is sufficient for organising a potluck dinner, not the delivery of your child. It is just not good enough.”