ABC Radio Adelaide – closure of obstetrics at Flinders Private Hospital

Friday, 15 March 2019

Radio Interview, ABC Radio Adelaide, Mornings

SUBJECTS: Closure of Flinders Private Hospital

DAVID BEVAN: Good morning Amanda Rishworth, Federal Labor MP for the seat of Kingston.

AMANDA RISHWORTH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Good morning.

BEVAN: Now Amanda, you are an expectant mother.

RISHWORTH: I am, I am.

BEVAN: So this is going to affect you.

RISHWORTH: It is, it is. Look, I could well be one of the last women to deliver at Flinders Private. I am due on the 2 August. It is very concerning and the lack of time for the many women that will use this service in the Southern Suburbs about this closure and I think there would be a lot of women that are due- August, September, October that were planning to have their babies at Flinders Private that just don’t know what they are going to do now.

BEVAN: Okay, so when did you hear about this?

RISHWORTH: I heard about it yesterday. It is my understanding that the staff that work at Flinders Private and also the doctors were informed as of yesterday.

BEVAN: So you are due on August 2 and the notice came out that Flinders Private will no longer have obstetrics from – is it – 31 July?

RISHWORTH: 31 July, so yes.

BEVAN: Right, so as you say; you might be able to get in if you are a little early. Where do you go if the baby comes in early August?

RISHWORTH: Unfortunately we are not 100 per cent sure. I will probably be early, I think that is what will probably happen. I could be the last person to actually give birth-

BEVAN: But have you got a plan B, Amanda?

RISHWORTH: Not of yet, no and I think there would be a lot of people that would be thinking, ‘what am I going to do?’ It will obviously be a discussion that you have with your doctor. I imagine all the staff are pretty upset as well, I don’t think they saw this coming, probably a bit of a shock for them. Certainly my experience with them is the staff are amazing and they have been delivering babies there for about 20 years.

BEVAN: Yeah. Any explanation about why they are getting out of the baby business?

RISHWORTH: I think there has been a decline in the numbers but I have to say that for people in the Southern Suburbs- which I also represent- my understanding is that the closest facility that is going to be available is going to be Ashford. And if you live in Seaford or Aldinga that is a long way to get to if you actually find yourself in Labor- you want to hope that Southern Expressway is going pretty fast!

BEVAN: Yeah.

RISHWORTH: It is very difficult for the Southern Suburbs but that lack of notice for the doctors, staff and all the patients is really concerning as well.

BEVAN: And you are right next to Flinders Medical Centre so if something- you hope that nothing goes wrong- but sometimes things-

RISHWORTH: Absolutely.

BEVAN: You are right next to a major teaching hospital so you know that there is a big brother hospital right next door.

RISHWORTH: Yeah and it is my understanding that they have a neonatal service in the private hospital as well and it is my understanding that that will be closed down as well which is a real shame because there is some synergy between, obviously, the Flinders Medical Centre neonatal and then being able to use another hospital and I imagine this is going to put a lot more pressure on Flinders Medical Centre because really it’s the major place now in the Southern Suburbs to give birth.

BEVAN: Okay well, Amanda Rishworth thanks for contacting us and good luck over the next few weeks-

RISHWORTH: Still a little way off! It’s still a little way off.

BEVAN: Yes but it is still a precious and special time. You take care of yourself.

RISHWORTH: Thank you.

ENDS

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