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Two reviews released this week related to the Lumsden Maternity Centre downgrade have not looked at the main issue - reinstating full services at the Lumsden Maternity Centre, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“At the direction of the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) the reviews have only been able to look in to the new, failed, downgraded hub model,” Mr Walker says.

“Even then the two reviews have still revealed multiple failings in the roll-out of the hub model”

“The SDHB made the terms of the review very clear to not look in to the decision to downgrade the centre at all.”

“They did this because they know it was the wrong decision and it has resulted in rural mothers and babies being put at risk, and a baby being born on the side of the road and in a car park.”

“Every single expert has recommended reviewing this decision, the only ones who have not listened to this advice is this Government.”

“The intent of this Government all along has been to do everything possible to not be held accountable for the wrong decision being made to downgrade Lumsden.”

“What is worse is the SDHB has done everything possible to point the finger elsewhere, including telling mothers to plan their births better.”

“The reports also have basic errors, like stating that Lumsden currently has locum relief.”

“We had the opportunity to right all of these wrongs and reinstate full services at Lumsden in the Health Select Committee earlier this year.”

“This was voted down by local List MPs Mark Patterson and Liz Craig.”

“We also had the motion to investigate the decision to downgrade the Lumsden Maternity Centre, which was again voted down by these two MPs and their fellow Government MPs.”

“These reports are the second to identify major failings by the SDHB in relation to Lumsden and this Government needs to intervene.”

“They need to stop treating rural mothers and babies like second-class citizens, listen to the experts and reinstate full services at Lumsden.”

“If elected next year, National will provide funding within our first 100 days to reinstate full services at Lumsden Maternity Centre.”

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