Health boss Danny O’Connor thinks a home in Dubbo for expectant mums from across the region is a project that could benefit from community involvement.
Nanjing Night Net

“If we all chip in we’ll get there soon rather than later,” the chief executive of Greater Western Area Health Service said yesterday.

This week Dubbo MP Dawn Fardell confirmed to the Daily Liberal that she was making phone calls and organising a meeting in a bid to pursue Cobar mayor Lilliane Brady’s idea of setting up a “maternity hostel” in the city.

Last month Cr Brady raised the issue at a meeting between the Orana Regional Organisation of Councils (OROC) and Mr O’Connor.

She told of pregnant women having to fork out to stay for lengthy periods in Dubbo motels and called for action.

The closure of maternity units in country hospitals has made Dubbo Base Hospital a birthing hub, a fact confirmed by Mr O’Connor yesterday after he revealed that the Greater Western had been “for some time” investigating the “best way” of supporting planned and unplanned deliveries.

“We have been speaking to people and vice versa,” Mr O’Connor said.

They included Mrs Fardell, who the chief executive said had been interested in the purchase of a particular home that was no longer on the market.

Mrs Fardell has told the Daily Liberal that she has a “commitment of $100,000” towards the establishment of a home-away-from-home for women waiting in Dubbo to deliver, and is seeking $50,000 from another source.

Yesterday Mr O’Connor declined to comment when asked if the commitment came from the Greater Western Area Health Service.

But he said it would “press” NSW Health on the issue and “alone or with partners” try to bring the mooted project to fruition.

Dubbo mayor Allan Smith yesterday said the proposed maternity home would be a “very good facility to have within our community”.

Asked if OROC might put its hand in its pocket for the home, Cr Smith said: “I would hope that that could be a possibility. But that’s a discussion that they have to have.”

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