Mums-to-be may lose sup­port

Preg­nancy sup­port ser­vice provider The Bump WA is fac­ing clo­sure af­ter the Health Depart­ment de­cided against re­new­ing its fund­ing con­tract.

Melville Times - - Front Page -

EXPECTANT moth­ers may soon have one less par­ent­ing ser­vice at their dis­posal af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment elected not to re­new fund­ing for The Bump WA.

Be­tween 2013 and 2016 the Suc­cess-based not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion re­ceived nearly $3.8 mil­lion from the North Met­ro­pol­i­tan Health Ser­vice (NMHS) to pro­vide child­birth ed­u­ca­tion and post­na­tal sup­port ser­vices.

The Bump WA also used some of the money to ad­min­is­ter the Com­mu­nity Mid­wifery Pro­gram.

An NMHS spokes­woman said the orig­i­nal con­tract was signed when de­mand ex­ceeded the health ser­vice’s ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­vide the ser­vices in­house.

“As a health ser­vice that is also com­mit­ted to mak­ing the best use of tax pay­ers dol­lars when plan­ning its clin­i­cal ser­vice pro­grams, a full eval­u­a­tion of The Bump WA’s suite of ser­vices was un­der­taken prior to the orig­i­nal con­tract ex­pir­ing in 2016,” she said.

“The eval­u­a­tion re­vealed the health ser­vice’s re­cently ex­panded mid­wifery teams were able to pro­vide the same full suite of ev­i­dence-based, best prac­tice ed­u­ca­tion for its pa­tients in-house to en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of care.

“Pro­gram sav­ings were then re-di­rected to sup­port Abo­rig­i­nal Health pro­grams fol­low­ing the Hol­man Re­view.”

The Bump WA ser­vice lead Ruth McIn­tosh ac­knowl­edged the or­gan­i­sa­tion now had a smaller role to fill but ar­gued it was no less vi­tal.

“We’re just look­ing for be­tween $200,000 and $300,000 which will al­low us to pay our rent and keep pro­vid­ing our low cost ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices,” Mrs McIn­tosh said.

She es­ti­mated The Bump WA helped close to 5000 peo­ple last fi­nan­cial year through its six-week child birth prepa­ra­tion classes, one-on-one breast­feed­ing sup­port ses­sions and drop-in vis­i­tors.

Without State Gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tion the or­gan­i­sa­tion would be forced to shut up shop and four per­ma­nent staff mem­bers and around eight ca­su­als would lose their jobs.

Ma­ter­nity Choices Aus­tralia WA pres­i­dent and mother of two Kylie Ekin has thrown her sup­port be­hind The Bump WA, launch­ing an on­line pe­ti­tion to save the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“If the com­mu­nity loses this amaz­ing not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion there will be a large gap in the ser­vices that are avail­able to fam­i­lies and this will place pres­sure on the pub­lic health sys­tem,” she said.

The pe­ti­tion can be found at www.face­book.com/savethe­bumpwa/

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d473377

Aline Do­min­dos, of Spear­wood, with Yan (19 months), Brodie Mur­ray, of Fre­man­tle, with Zala (12 weeks) and Kylie Ekin, of Ma­ter­nity Choices Aus­tralia, with Macken­zie (4) and Isla (2) face los­ing the ser­vices of The Bump WA.

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