22 Jun 2012

Whanganui keeps maternity services

5:24 pm on 22 June 2012

Whanganui is to keep its specialist maternity care after its District Health Board voted to keep the service.

The region's DHB voted unanimously on Friday to keep the service, after months of turmoil over a plan to move all specialist care to Palmerston North.

The DHB has hired two more obstetric and gynaecology specialists since the first plan was put forward in February, giving it three options. Members chose option two.

The second option is specialist care provided from both Whanganui and Palmerston North hospitals, and shared staffing responsibilities.

Option one was essentially the plan initially proposed in February, while option three would also have retained specialist care at Whanganui Hospital, but left staffing to an external contractor.

The decision is subject to support from the MidCentral DHB, which meets on Tuesday to decide which option it would prefer.

If the two boards decide on different options, further discussions will take place to reach an agreement.

The MidCentral DHB will make its decision on 26 June.