Joint media release with Richard Riordan MP, Member for Polwarth
Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria and Richard Riordan MP, Member for Polwarth, have today launched a petition demanding the state and federal Labor governments urgently intervene to stop the closure of Epworth Geelong’s maternity unit.
The petition, which is set out below, can be found at saveEpworthmaternity.com.au
Labor must act to stop Epworth Geelong Maternity closure
The proposed closure of Epworth Geelong’s maternity unit, where almost 600 babies are born each year, is a critical public health issue.
Without this vital health service for women and families across our region, Barwon Health’s University Hospital Geelong would be pushed to breaking point, particularly as the state government has delayed delivery of the Barwon Women and Children’s Hospital until 2029.
Already at Barwon Health, maternity beds are in such demand that some new mums are being forced to leave hospital before learning how to breastfeed, which may compromise family health and safety. Reduced maternity services across our region would only make this situation worse.
THIS PETITION CALLS ON the federal and state Labor governments to urgently intervene, and stop the closure of Epworth Geelong’s maternity unit.
Epworth HealthCare, the largest not-for-profit private hospital group in Victoria, built Epworth Geelong with substantial state and federal funding on the basis it would deliver a full-service hospital. Any closure of the maternity unit, supported by pre-eminent obstetricians, paediatricians and midwives, would be a real betrayal of our community.
Like all private hospitals, the Commonwealth supports Epworth Geelong through Medicare and the private health insurance rebate. The state government, responsible for health workforce planning, relies on Epworth Geelong to ensure that our community’s vital health needs are met.
It is patently wrong to suggest this issue has nothing to do with government. Yet, local Labor MPs Richard Marles, Libby Coker, Christine Couzens, Darren Cheeseman and Alison Marchant have been missing in action, showing no interest in standing up for families on this critical issue, particularly the thousands of prospective mothers living in Geelong, Surf Coast and the Bellarine.
THIS PETITION DEMANDS immediate action from our state and federal Labor government representatives so that the future of Epworth Geelong Maternity can be assured.
Please show them that your voice matters.