North Eastern Community Hospital CEO Michele Smith has called on country mums to have their babies at North Eastern when they are not able to have them at a regional hospital.
Mothers-to-be are required to travel to Adelaide to have their babies in certain clinical circumstances, such as premature births, multiple births and other obstetric complications.
Ms Smith says that rather than going to one of the large city hospitals, privately insured country women and uninsured woman seeking a private hospital may prefer a small, family-friendly community hospital such as North Eastern.
“We are blessed in South Australia with high quality public and private hospitals of all sizes,” Ms Smith said.
“However, country mums may prefer to have their babies at a smaller community hospital in a family-friendly environment, rather than at one of the major public hospitals.
“In many ways our hospital operates much like a country hospital, in that we are strongly connected to our local community and our staff really get to know our patients.”
Ms Smith has extensive experience in country health, serving as Eyre Far North Regional Director with Country Health SA for 11 years.
About 500 babies are born each year at North Eastern Community Hospital, compared to thousands of babies each year at the large metropolitan hospitals, which Michele Smith says allows North Eastern to provide mums with a very personal experience in a caring environment.
“We really try to create a home away from home for country mums, with family accommodation available on site adjacent the hospital.”
The call comes as a newly refurbished nursery for new born babies has been unveiled at North Eastern Community Hospital. The $77,000 makeover was undertaken to modernise the existing space and improve comfort and functionality for parents and their babies.