BENTLEY Hospital’s maternity ward will stay open for at least another five years after Health Minister Roger Cook announced a multi-million dollar funding commitment last week.
The maternity ward, which delivered more than 800 babies last year, has been promised $12 million a year as part of the guarantee.
The ward has faced an uncertain future since the State Government released a report recommending its closure in 2015.
Mr Cook said the hospital’s 23 maternity beds, three labour rooms and two assessment rooms were a vital asset to the local community.
“We are providing muchneeded certainty to this vital service to ensure it continues to be part of the local community for at least a further five years,” he said.
A new collaboration between Bentley Hospital and local GPs has led to the launch of a shared care pathway model, allowing expectant mothers who choose shared care to have their babies at Bentley.
Mr Cook said the arrangement allowed healthy, lowrisk pregnant women to continue using their GP for the majority of antenatal appointments while also getting care with a specialist obstetrician.