Maternity service suspension

St John of God Health Care confirms that from Wednesday 10 November, St John of God Geraldton Hospital will temporarily suspend provision of private maternity services, due to a shortage of midwives.

3 Nov 2021

It has not yet been determined how long the service will be suspended and the hospital is continuing to explore other viable obstetric models.

St John of God Geraldton Hospital Acting CEO Jack Harding said that the decision had been made in the interests of patient safety.

“With the current shortage of qualified midwives we are finding it increasingly difficult to fill rosters and ensure we are appropriately resourced to provide a safe service.

“The situation has reached a point where we have needed to make the difficult decision to suspend the service.”

Mr Harding said that the hospital had been exploring other recruitment options for some time, but the issue is widespread across all private and public hospitals in Australia.

While our service is suspended, the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) will ensure that impacted families continue to be offered exceptional care close to home. Here, they will be supported by WACHS’ and SJGGH’s highly experienced midwifery and obstetrics teams.

Mr Harding said the hospital deeply regretted that patients who were booked to give birth at the hospital would need to make alternative arrangements.

“We have been providing maternity services to this community for 86 years, so it is with a heavy heart that we are advising patients who looked forward to giving birth at St John of God Geraldton Hospital that we are not able to provide them with a safe service beyond 10 November.”

There will also be a strong focus over the coming days to communicate with patients, GPs and Obstetricians, and the community.