BENTLEY Hospital’s maternity ward will stay open for at least another five years after Health Minister Roger Cook announced a multi-million dollar funding commitment on Wednesday morning.
The maternity ward, which delivered more than 800 babies last year, has been promised $12 million a year in a guarantee it will continue to operate for at least the next five years.
The ward has faced an uncertain future since the State Government released a report recommending its closure in 2015.
Mr Cook said the hospital’s 23 maternity beds, three labour rooms and two assessment rooms were a vital asset to the local community.
“We are providing much needed certainty to this vital service to ensure it continues to be part of the local community for at least a further five years,” he said.
A new collaboration between Bentley Hospital and local GPs has led to the recent launch of a new shared care pathway model, allowing expectant mothers who choose shared care to have their babies at Bentley.
Mr Cook said the arrangement allowed healthy, low-risk pregnant women to continue using their GP for the majority of antenatal appointments while also getting care with a specialist obstetrician at Bentley.
“The maternity unit’s new shared care pathway model welcomed its first patient earlier this year and the funding announced today ensures that services continue to be available for local women,” he said.
“The arrangement has been warmly welcomed by medial and midwifery staff as well as the local community.”