Pregnant women left in the lurch
He wahine hapu¯ kua mahue ki rahaki
A lack of maternity services in Tokoroa has forced women to travel out of town for scans.
Horizon Radiology pulled the plug on the services last year because the company was making a loss.
Managing director Mary Gordon said financially it became ‘‘ too unsustainable for us to do’’.
Gordon said the company provided community services at it’s own expense and she said customers could not pay the surcharges.
‘‘We were very sad to see it close . . . I would have continued it if we were breaking even but we weren’t.’’
The last resort was to ask the Waikato DHB for funding but she said they could not provide it. The DHB said they had no such request.
Kathleen Waka was one of many mothers-to-be left in the lurch.
She endeavoured to make her pregnancy scans at Rotorua Hospital but with no car it was not easy.
The 23-year old and her partner Jason Price made the trip four times during her pregnancy at $40 a pop.
And that was only when Waka managed to borrow her nephew’s car.
Each trip to Rotorua meant dipping into the $110 they had left over for the week.
‘‘We had to survive by ourselves on the jobseekers benefit.. we had to give up some groceries,’’ she said.
Independent midwife Teressa Lindsey has worked in Tokoroa for just over two years and sees four to six women per month.
She said they all have been forced to travel to either Rotorua or Waikato Hospital for their scans.
‘‘It is so important to have scans.. we are watching for that growth,’’ she said.
Lindsey said all women normally have a dating scan to start with.
And other scans are to track growth as well as identifying foetal abnormality.
Although she believes there needs to be a facility at Tokoroa Hospital she said it comes down to the sonographers being available.
Stuck: Kathleen Waka, left, with 1-week old Zavier and partner Jason Price have suffered from the town’s lack of maternity services.