Seidel exposed on Mersey birthing by AMA


Labor and its Shadow Health spokesperson Bastian Seidel have been left exposed by the Australian Medical Association, who on Thursday clearly stated that it would be unsafe to re-open birthing services at the Mersey Hospital.

In their election policy document, the Australian Medical Association clearly stated:

“Do not re-open maternity services at the Mersey”.

And further

“It would be unsafe to re-open maternity services at the Mersey where there is no ICU, 24 hours obstetric or paediatric or anaesthetic support, nor emergency theatre teams available”.

This follows on from well respected former North West clinician and head of Paediatric Services Dr Bert Shugg saying last week that "Dr Seidel has no idea about safe and sustainable obstetric and neonatal care or the issues of recruiting to a rural environment.”

Not to mention that when President of the RACGP Dr Seidel himself said that centralisation of birthing at Burnie was “necessary”.

Dr Seidel’s Bec-flip on birthing at the Mersey is rank political opportunism at its worst; it is the sort of thing he pretends to rail against.

It goes against all the expert medical advice, and it would place mothers and babies at risk for sake of chasing a few votes.

It is time for Dr Seidel to admit that he has got it wrong, and withdraw Labor’s ill-considered and dangerous Mersey birthing policy.

And now he’s wanting to spend $10 million on a new independent bureaucracy which will “look at the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system” – a veiled attempt to outsource decision-making to unelected Hobart based bureaucrats, which could well recommend the Mersey close and the funding go elsewhere.