EXPECTANT mothers may soon have one less parenting service at their disposal after the State Government elected not to renew funding for The Bump WA.
Between 2013 and 2016 the Success-based not-for-profit organisation received nearly $3.8 million from the North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) to provide childbirth education and postnatal support services.
The Bump WA also used some of the money to administer the Community Midwifery Program.
An NMHS spokeswoman said the original contract was signed when demand exceeded the health service’s capability to provide the services in-house.
“As a health service that is also committed to making the best use of tax payers dollars when planning its clinical service programs, a full evaluation of The Bump WA’s suite of services was undertaken prior to the original contract expiring in 2016,” she said.
“The evaluation revealed the health service’s recently expanded midwifery teams were able to provide the same full suite of evidence-based, best practice education for its patients in-house to ensure continuity of care.
“Program savings were then re-directed to support Aboriginal Health programs following the Holman Review.”
The Bump WA service lead Ruth McIntosh acknowledged the organisation now had a smaller role to fill but argued it was no less vital.
“We’re just looking for between $200,000 and $300,000 which will allow us to pay our rent and keep providing our low cost education services,” Mrs McIntosh said.
She estimated The Bump WA helped close to 5000 people last financial year through its six-week child birth preparation classes, one-on-one breastfeeding support sessions and drop-in visitors.
Without State Government intervention the organisation would be forced to shut up shop and four permanent staff members and around eight casuals would lose their jobs.
Maternity Choices Australia WA president and mother of two Kylie Ekin has thrown her support behind The Bump WA, launching an online petition to save the organisation.
“If the community loses this amazing not-for-profit organisation there will be a large gap in the services that are available to families and this will place pressure on the public health system,” she said.
The petition can be found at www.facebook.com/savethebumpwa/.