CWA calls for improvement in rural maternity services

30th Aug 2022

The Guyra Evening CWA branch is calling for urgent improvements to maternity services and support in rural and regional NSW.
A catalyst for the formation of the Country Women’s Association of NSW a century ago was the need for adequate maternal health services in the bush, and 100 years on the Association continues to advocate for expectant mothers and their families, with the critical issue the focus of this year’s annual Awareness Week campaign.
Guyra Evening Branch President, Anne Starr said the issue was on the Association’s radar at its annual State Conference in Sydney in May, when a number of branch motions were put to members around the need for improved maternity services and care in rural and remote NSW, and for the establishment of a dedicated hotline to support women in rural areas to navigate available maternity support services.
On the final day of the conference, in the wake of the release of findings from a NSW parliamentary inquiry into rural and regional health, a motion of urgency was unanimously endorsed by members, calling for immediate action by state and federal governments to address the current crisis in the provision of primary medical services as a result of the lack of general practitioners and medical staffing in hospitals in rural NSW.
“Just because you choose to live outside our major cities doesn’t mean you should have to tolerate a lower standard of medical care and support. Expectant mothers and new mothers should feel safe and supported, but what we heard during and after the inquiry was that this is far from the case for those living in rural and regional areas of our state,” said Anne Starr.
“It seems fitting that in the CWA of NSW’s centenary year, we’re continuing the advocacy around urgent improvements to maternal and antenatal care for country residents. We’re simply asking for the same levels of care city-based people expect and we don’t think equity is too much to ask. Those living in rural and regional NSW pay the same taxes as everyone else and your postcode shouldn’t dictate the standard of basic healthcare requirements.”
As part of CWA of NSW Awareness Week, the Guyra Evening Branch will be inviting Women’s Health Nurse Tracey Griffin to speak to us before the commencement of our next meeting on Wednesday 7th September, 5pm at the GALA Centre meeting room. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially non CWA members! Please stay for a cuppa and a chat afterwards and we would welcome anyone who is interested in finding out more about CWA, to please stay for our September meeting which will commence at 6pm. Please RSVP to Anne on 0413 595 353 or via our Facebook page.