“If I didn’t have to go to Nowra I would definitely have another child, but the thought of going there scares me to death,” says Nicole Angyan.
Ms Angyan is one of a growing number of Southern Shoalhaven locals who say they have been forced by the State Government to change their family plans after the reduction of maternity services at Milton Hospital.
“I’ve had three C-sections. The first at Milton with no complications. The other two at Nowra with huge complications,” Mrs Angyan said.
“I was told two years ago that I'm too higher risk to ever deliver at Milton again. In the end, if I was able to deliver at Milton I probably would have more kids. The fact that I'm classed as high risk means that the decision has been taken away from me.”
Another local mum Nat Jackson echoed Mrs Angyan’s sentiments.
“My partner will hate for me to say this, but yes. I’d want to have another,” she said.
“It’s just too far to have to go to Nowra. Too far for someone having a baby and for their family to visit them.”
Mothers ambushed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to the region, demanding answers on the withdrawal of maternity services at Milton Hospital and whether funding would be allocated if he is re-elected.
“You do realise this is a state government issue,” Mr Turnbull said when questioned by the Times.
“You will be best to direct your questions to your State representative, Shelley Hancock.”
When approached by the Times to provide comment on funding issues and what actions are being taken by Ms Hancock, we were advised in a statement that “the issues are complex and as such your enquiry needs to be referred to Margot Mains, Chief Executive ISLHD.”
Ms Mains declined an interview with the Times but responded with a small statement on the maternity unit and redirected conversation to resources being made available at Milton Hospital. These include the Renal and Palliative Care Unit and the Cancer Care Centre.
“With regard to the birthing services, I reiterate that a final decision on the model of care for the future has not been made.
“We have been working closely with a group of local midwives, nurses and GP obstetricians to look at all the options available for the provision of future services that are safe and appropriate for both the community and the hospital,” Ms Mains said in a statement.
“This is a state issue, but where is our state member? Why isn’t she here? What is she doing to secure us these services?” Dr Brett Thomson, who has withdrawn his services, asked during a rally outside Milton Hospital on Monday.
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