The only private hospital in Geraldton to close its doors to maternity patients so far

Geraldton’s only private hospital is closing its doors to maternity wards starting next Wednesday.

St John of God Geraldton Hospital has confirmed it will temporarily suspend maternity services due to a shortage of midwives. He did not say when the service could reopen.

He was unwilling to confirm whether midwives refusing to be vaccinated against COVID contributed to the shortage.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the hospital was “unable to comment on the decisions of every staff member” and that “the vast majority of our staff have met vaccination requirements.”

Pregnant women who plan to use the hospital will now be forced to use the Geraldton Health Campus or go elsewhere.

Acting St John of God Geraldton CEO Jack Harding said a shortage of midwives made it increasingly difficult to fill the lists.

St John of God Geraldton Hospital will close its doors to maternity patients next week.(ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Samille Mitchell)

The public hospital takes over

The Geraldton Health Campus plans to receive eight additional maternity patients per month due to the closure of the private hospital maternity ward.

WA Country Health Service Midwestern Regional Director of Nursing and Midwestern Care Marie Norris was confident the Geraldton Health Campus Maternity Hospital could accommodate the additional patients, with additional staff seconded from St John of God Geraldton Hospital.

“We are confident that we have staff who would support this,” she said.

Ms Norris said Saint-Jean-de-Dieu was in talks with private patients to allay their dissatisfaction with taking out private health insurance, which was later denied a private hospital.

Shortage of midwives

Ms Norris said hospitals across the country were battling a shortage of midwives.

“I don’t think it’s a single variable to be honest.”

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