Another emergency birth in South

Lumsden Maternity Centre. Photo: ODT files
Lumsden Maternity Centre. Photo: ODT files
An emergency birth in Lumsden today is the fourth in recent weeks in the South and came as Parliament's health select committee was considering a petition to save the Northern Southland town's maternity centre.

There have already been three emergency births, including one in an ambulance and one in the centre's carpark, which advocates have said would not have been problematic had the centre remained a primary birthing unit.

The new arrival came at noon today, as the committee was considering local MP Hamish Walker's petitions to save the centre.

The baby was born in the newly established maternal and child hub, and this was the first of the emergency births where a second midwife was able to attend.

"That is the one positive that has come out of it,'' Mr Walker said.

"It is upsetting to hear the mother was disappointed there was no gas available for pain relief, which would have been if Lumsden was still a primary birthing unit.''

The woman had planned to give birth in Invercargill, but did not have enough time to travel to Southland Hospital.

The baby arrived after a 90-minute labour.

The committee again did not report Mr Walker's petition back to Parliament,

The decision to change Lumsden Maternity Clinic's status from from a birthing unit to a maternal and child hub was made as part of the Southern District Health Board's region-wide review of maternity services.

It sparked protests from locals and the 5000 signature petition which the select committee is still considering. 


When are Fleming and our out-of-his depth health minister going to accept they have this wrong? If they has a shred of integrity they would resign now.