Save the Bump WA: picnic at Bicton’s Wireless Hill Park to find solution to maternity service funding gap

Aline Domindos with Yan, Brodie Murray with Zala and Maternity Choices Australia’s Kylie Ekin  with Isla. Picture: Martin Kennealey d473377
Aline Domindos with Yan, Brodie Murray with Zala and Maternity Choices Australia’s Kylie Ekin with Isla. Picture: Martin Kennealey d473377

A PERTH not-for-profit offering pregnancy support services for more than 20 years will close unless it can find funding to cover a gap left by the State Government, its co-ordinator says.

The Bump organisation received about $3.8 million from the North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) between 2013 and 2016 to run childbirth education, postnatal support services and other programs.

An NMHS spokeswoman said the original contract was signed when demand exceeded the health service’s capability to provide programs itself.

But she said an evaluation had found it was now able to provide evidence-based, best practice education in-house.

“Research tells us that mothers and babies have better outcomes and experience greater satisfaction when antenatal and postnatal care is provided by the same known midwives, and as such NMHS worked towards being able to again provide these services in-house at the conclusion of the Bump WA contract,” she said.

Without help of between $200,000 and $300,000 per year, The Bump WA co-ordinator Ruth McIntosh said it would be forced to close.

Tomorrow, the Health Consumers Council and Maternity Choices Australia will join The Bump staff for a picnic at Bicton’s Wireless Hill Park, where they hope to generate a solution.

Ms McIntosh said alternative funding was being explored, but was hopeful a good showing could lead the State Government to reverse its decision.

“The Government is very busy and lots of things pass across desks,” she said.

“Sometimes you have to demonstrate why you are important and why you are needed.

“For our clients there is no alternative available.

“Parts of what we offer might be available elsewhere but there is no replication of what we offer.”

Maternity Choices Australia WA president Kylie Ekin said the event was about bringing like-minded people together to discuss the issue and find a solution.

“If The Bump closes, choices for families in WA will become increasingly limited,” she said.

“We have been notified the funding won’t be reinstated but we have no choice but to keep fighting.

“This isn’t about demanding the State Government give us the money, it’s about working with them to ensure the service is retained.”

Bicton MLA Lisa O’Malley said she would work with The Bump to find a solution.

“It would be a terrible shame to lose the services they offer,” she said.

The Save The Bump WA picnic will be held at Wireless Hill Park on Saturday from 10am.

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