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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas


    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010


    The $1 million redevelopment of Toowoomba Hospital’s new birthing centre is in full swing with the appointment of the successful tenderer.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas said the birthing centre’s building contract had been awarded to Q-Build – Darling Downs following the closing of the tender in late December.

    The redevelopment will see two new birthing suites constructed in the Toowoomba Hospital adjacent to the maternity ward, in an area occupied by the old decommissioned obstetric theatre.

    “This $1 million redevelopment will provide a new birthing experience for expectant mothers in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs,” Mr Lucas said.

    “The new Toowoomba birthing centre will give low risk pregnant women significantly enhanced birthing choices, including giving women the opportunity to give birth in a family homelike environment with midwife support and access to specialised care if required.

    “This is a key election commitment for the Bligh Government, with construction of the centre on track to be completed by mid 2010,” he said.

    Mr Lucas said the State Government was working closely with the Toowoomba Maternity Coalition in the development of the new birthing centre.

    “The Maternity Coalition do a tremendous job in working to enhance birthing choices for women locally and I’m really pleased they have continued to provide input into the development and design of this centre,” Mr Lucas said.

    “This includes being involved as part of the birthing centre working group and steering committee, with both playing an integral role in the development of the new birthing centre.

    “This consultation will help to further ensure the design of the centre meets the needs of expectant mothers and the specialised midwifery nurses who will care for them,” he said.

    Mr Lucas said Toowoomba Hospital had seen an increasing number of births in the past 10 years, with recent statistics showing a six per cent increase in births from 2007/08 to 2008/09.

    “Current birth numbers are showing a similar further increase in the year ahead, and the development of this new birthing centre will help to further meet this growing demand,” Mr Lucas said.

    Mr Lucas said Toowoomba Hospital already had a strong midwifery model of care in place within its maternity unit, with the midwives from this service to also work from the new birthing centre.

    “These highly trained midwives will ensure that local women have the birthing experience they choose, all the while knowing that the support, care and advice they need is right there.

    “The Toowoomba Hospital is also working closely with the University of Southern Queensland and Central Queensland University providing training for the next generation of midwifes, with 12 midwifery students to commence their part-time time clinical placements at the hospital from August 2010 as part of their Masters in Midwifery,” he said.

    In addition to the new birthing centre for the Toowoomba Hospital, the Bligh Government has also committed $2 million for a transit lounge to be used by patients awaiting discharge or transfer as well as a proposed expansion to develop a new child and youth mental health unit as part of the $121.55 million committed for inpatient capital works under the Queensland Plan for Mental Health 2007-2017.


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