GOLD COAST mothers are receiving vital care for their premature babies closer to home with the expansion of ante-natal services at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
Premier Campbell Newman said the new facilities at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provide specialised treatment to sick bubs without the need for parents to travel to Brisbane.
“There is almost nothing worse as a parent, than having a sick child,” Mr Newman said.
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“Less travel time for mums and dads ultimately means more time spent with their baby and family as well as being closer to home and that is a great outcome for everyone.”
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the new service had already supported more than 400 mums with pregnancy complications at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
“This fantastic service comes after six additional cots in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit were opened in April, making a total of eight cots which are now available for sick babies at the hospital,” Mr Springborg said.
“Since then, eight Gold Coast babies have been born at 27 weeks and almost 500 babies have received care in a separate Newborn Care Unit.
“Critically-ill children are also benefitting from a new Children’s Critical Care Unit at the hospital, with paediatric-trained staff with intensive care experience expecting to treat more than 200 patients in the first year.
“Whether it’s bubs arriving early, or sick or young children needing care, Gold Coast parents do not need to travel far anymore.”
For mum Penny McIsaac, having the service available on the Gold Coast has been a blessing for her baby Alfie, who was one of the first babies born at 27 weeks and is now getting ready to go home.
“Having Alfie early was completely unexpected and I felt unprepared,” Ms McIsaac said.
“However being here, I’ve been in the best possible hands and have felt taken care of and that things are under control.
“Now that I think about my daily routine, I couldn’t imagine having to drive to Brisbane as well, which would have affected how much time I get to spend with Alfie. It really is such a blessing that this service is now here.”
Mr Springborg said Queensland mums could also access the Mums and Bubs Program which had helped more than 34,000 mums around the state in the weeks after their baby is born.
“We are committed to providing the best health services and care possible to all Queensland families and with these programs and facilities, we are on the right track to achieving this,” he said.