Qld expands maternal fetal services for high-risk mothers

2 minute read

The $11m expansion at James Cook University Hospital includes new fetal cardiology services and sonography rooms to enhance care for women with complex pregnancies.

The Queensland government has expanded its maternal fetal medicine services in Townsville to offer a wider variety of care for women with complex pregnancies. 

The new clinic and service expansion opened yesterday, with services available for high-risk mothers in Townsville and surrounding communities as far north as Cooktown and as far south as Rockhampton. 

“Upgrades to the maternal fetal medicine service were recommended as part of a clinical service review undertaken last year by Gold Coast-based MFM specialist Dr Glenn Gardener,” said Townsville Hospital and Health Service CEO Kieran Keyes. 

“The review was a proactive step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the MFM service in what we know is a growing speciality. 

“In line with Dr Gardener’s recommendations, we have invested in medical, sonography and midwifery staffing.”  

The government invested $11 million over the next four years to fund the expansion, which feature fetal cardiology services, additional fetal sonography rooms, more clinic space and a dedicated space for services such as surgical termination. 

The expansion also included a social worker, psychologist, and Indigenous health worker to provide social, emotional, and cultural support alongside clinical care. 

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Two additional specialist maternal fetal medical roles will be added to the service over the coming months. 

James Cook University’s maternal fetal service currently sees more than 750 women with high-risk pregnancies each year. 

Patients cared for by the service are typically high-risk with twin or triplet pregnancies, fetal abnormalities, likely to deliver early, or affected by conditions such as pre-eclampsia. 

Do you have a story tip for us, or a topic you would like to see us cover? Contact the editor at editor@healthservicesdaily.com.au.

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