Warwick Hospital is planning to offer videoconferencing services to high-risk expectant mums.
Warwick Hospital is planning to offer videoconferencing services to high-risk expectant mums. Rachel Spies Photography

Oh baby it's an online world

MATERNITY services at Warwick Hospital could soon be a lot more high tech, with plans to utilise such programs as Skype in antenatal appointments.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said it would ease the burden of travelling for women who required more advanced care than could be provided locally.

It is not known when the service would come into effect.

"In the future, we plan to introduce videoconferencing facilities to our antenatal and postnatal clinics," Mr Springborg said.

"Access to these facilities will allow us to provide more complex maternity care and will decrease the need for women to travel to Toowoomba and Brisbane for these services."

The announcement comes on the heels of Mr Springborg's pledge to reinvigorate maternity services in rural hospitals.

The health minister praised the facilities on offer in the Rose City.

"Warwick Hospital is an excellent example of a rural maternity service which provides woman-centred and low-risk community and inpatient care," he said.

Mr Springborg said the hospital had planned birth care for "healthy" women of 37 weeks gestation, offering labour induction and both elective and emergency services to expectant mums.

"When in established labour, a woman will have access to continuous support and one-on-one care by a midwife," he said.

"Occasionally, when a woman's pregnancy or birth becomes complex, a patient may need to be transferred to a higher level maternity service in Toowoomba or Brisbane.

"We have strong consultation and referral links to these services and have the capacity to receive mothers and babies back to Warwick Hospital when their condition allows."

Baby love

  •  The Warwick hospital sees an average of 250 births each year.



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