More Women Can Give Birth In Portland

Thursday, 12 June 2014
More Portland women will be able to have their babies locally with the recruitment of a new obstetrician and gynaecologist.

Dr David Morris will join Portland District Health from July 2, easing pressure on the existing service and creating more opportunities for local births.

The recruitment will also lead to fewer gaps in the Portland-based service.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said the addition of Dr Morris was a great outcome for local families.

It will allow us to provide a more complete service to the community, Ms Giles said. We have been working hard to attract and relocate more specialist staff to Portland and we are very pleased that Dr Morris will be joining us.

Dr Morris, a Fellow of the Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, will join Drs Ghazala Irshad and Fariha Irshad who are continuing their involvement in the obstetrics service.

The recruitment is also supported by the appointment of Dr Scott Deller who has recently joined Active Health Portland as a general practitioner and PDH where his role will include anaesthetics.

Dr Morris will bring a wealth of experience to Portland. He most recently worked in Bendigo and Western Australia and was previously based at Horsham among other regional postings.

Ms Giles said the addition of a third specialist with expertise in obstetrics would allow the hospital to increase its birthing service.

We will be able to establish a low to medium risk service and be able to provide safe birthing facilities for first-time mothers, she said.

Over recent years first time mothers have needed to travel to Warrnambool or Hamilton to give birth.

Ms Giles said Portland would still not deliver high risk births such as premature babies or twins.

However, we will be able to provide a more complete continuous service and be better placed to cover leave or emergency situations, she said.

It isn't completely sealed but we should be able to cover 95 per cent of the time,she said.

Australia is experiencing a nation-wide shortage of obstetricians and gynaecologists, particularly in rural areas where many services have been scaled down or closed.

We are fortunate to be able to increase our local options,” Ms Giles said. We need to encourage our local GP workforce to help us to provide these vital services by up-skilling in these areas.

There have been 16 births so far this year at PDH, slightly up on the same period last year.

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