Wanaka MP welcomes SDHB's appointment of maternity manager
The following statement is from Wanaka's MP - Jacqui Dean.
"Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has welcomed the news that a project manager has been appointed to advance the establishment of maternity services for Wanaka and Central Otago.
“I’m relieved that there is some good news from the Southern DHB at a time when we all need it, in the middle of a national and global crisis, and that we are one step closer to the development of Wanaka’s Maternal and Child Hub.
“It’s a step in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go before the public can have confidence in the DHB’s ability to deliver effective maternity services.
“There have been repeated delays, first to December and then a further delay to early this year. This has been worrying, because of the damning report from Ernst & Young about the DHB’s performance on maternity issues.
“This is an issue dear to my heart, because for Wanaka’s expectant mums and midwives, the nearest birthing unit is three and-a-half hours away at the nearest base hospital, and the delays to get to this point have been incredibly frustrating. This has been a long and drawn out process.
“Unfortunately, the establishment of a birthing unit will be held up further because of the pandemic.
“However, the appointment of a maternity strategy manager in March, on a one-year fixed-term contract, is a move in the right direction to manage the task, and I’m glad that there is positive progress. The community has been waiting for the development for nearly 18 months.
“I’m relieved that there has been some action at last to meet the needs of Wanaka’s mums and babies.”