Media release

Northwest public maternity services

The government's commitment to bringing forward its original 2024 timeline to shift northwest maternity services back to the public sector by the end of this year is welcome news.

Dr Annette Barratt, Vice President of AMA Tasmania, added, "the AMA has strongly advocated for the women in the Northwest who must have access to maternity services appropriate to their clinical, cultural, and social needs.

"Further, the medical teams trained to support women during this life event must also have confidence in their workplace, job security, colleagues, and employer.

"We look forward to working with the government on the next steps, rebuilding public confidence and shifting from a heavily reliant locum-based workforce to a local safe, quality, and sustainable one. This means the government must ensure the next Salaried Medical Practitioner Agreement is competitive with other states who are paying their doctors substantially more to provide a local service.

"We urge the government to set a specific date for the changeover in December so that doctors, nurses, and patients have certainty and clarity around the change.

"Giving birth is a momentous life event and should not be overshadowed by stress, fear, or dangers associated with inadequate maternity care.

"AMA Tasmania commends the doctors and nurses who continue to provide the best service they can for birthing women in the Northwest under challenging circumstances.

"We are optimistic that with the maternity service back in public hands and with what we hope will be a competitive outcome in the doctors EBA negotiations, that we will see obstetricians once again choose to live and work in the northwest. A locum workforce benefits no one."

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