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Concerns for Perth mothers as hospital struggles to keep up

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Concerns for Perth mothers as hospital struggles to keep up

The WA branch of the Australian Medical Association has serious concerns for expectant mothers, as King Edward Memorial Hospital struggles to keep up with its workload.

In recent months the hospital has seen a record number of births, resulting in an increase to the waitlist for inductions.

AMA WA President Dr Andrew Miller told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett some women are waiting days before receiving care.

“The induction list used to be three or five a day reliably, which they can handle, but now on somedays it could be up to 20,” he said.

“It would be terrifying for the entire family, and particularly the women involved who knows that the doctors are really keen to get this baby out, they just don’t have the capacity to do it”

He said midwives are forced to decided which patients are the highest priority.

“It’s an incredibly stressful situation, and it’s not surprising that midwives have been deciding that they would rather work somewhere less stressful.”

Dr Miller said “the system has been rundown over time” and more staff are needed to keep up with demand.

“There is a disconnect between what the frontline workers are saying needs to happen, and what the health service is prepared to deliver.”

In a statement, the North Metropolitan Health Service said women requiring urgent care are always tended to.

“The care and safety of our patients is our number one priority and all women requiring urgent intervention or care are seen straight away,” a spokesperson said.

“In recent weeks and months, King Edward Memorial Hospital has seen a record number of births and activity and each day our teams work hard to prioritise the workload by making the best use of our system-wide obstetric network to ensure every woman is cared for safely and appropriately.

Non-urgent gynaecological surgeries at the hospital have been pushed back by two weeks to deal with the increased workload.

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Liam Bartlett