Sunday Territorian 20 Jul 2014
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
12 NEWS SUNDAY JULY 20 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Care keeps births off road Ben and Chanel McCasker with happy and healthy baby Charlotte. The Bathurst Island couple's pregnancy gave them the added stress of knowing they were a long way from hospital, but the good obstetrics scheme in the NT ensured they got there on time ONCE a month, a pregnant Chanel McCasker would wake up early at her home on Bathurst Island and board a plane into Darwin for an appointment with her obstetrician at the private hospital. Once receiving good news on baby Charlotte, the Darwin-born Ms McCasker would race around the city, buying groceries and other necessities before hopping back on the plane to return home. Closer to her due date, that routine became more frequent, occurring about every two to three weeks. Such is the life of many pregnant women living in rural or remote areas across Australia while there are often difficulties during pregnancy, living in remote areas brings its own set of challenges, Ms McCasker said. It was a little different, but it wasnt too bad, she said. Ms McCasker was one of the lucky ones. A full-blown crisis in other parts of the country has seen mothers giving birth on the side of the road on their way to hospital because of federal funding cuts to rural obstetrics. Dr Elaine Dietsch, Professor of Midwifery at Charles Sturt University, who interviewed 45 women who had given birth by the side of the road for her report Lucky we had a torch, said only obstetric risk was taken into account by authorities when closing down rural units. Australian Medical Association NT director Robert Parker said the issues experienced by expectant women in remote areas like rural NSW would not happen here due to ample staffing at regional hospitals located in Gove and Katherine. Obstetricians are sent to remote areas on a regular basis to assess pregnant women and determine what their individual needs are. Its a different sort of health service we have here, Mr Parker said. In the Territory, youve got obstetricians visiting the rural communities on a regular basis and picking women at risk and bringing them into Darwin. They have the pregnancies dealt with there. Another advantage for the Territory is CareFlight which can airlift people into the Royal Darwin Hospital quickly. Of the roughly 4000 patients who use the service, 15 per cent are pregnancies, director Ian Badham said. We can get teams out there to support the smaller communities, smaller clinics, as well as Gove and Katherine, and get things out quicker these days, Mr Badham said. Ms McCasker said the fear of giving birth on the way to the hospital was always in her mind during the pregnancy. It was daunting, thinking what would happen if I did, she said. I thought, if I went into labour would my husband be able to get in the CareFlight? That was probably the biggest thing you cant plan when its going to happen. By CHRISTOPHER WALSH That was probably the biggest thing you cant plan when its going to happen Inspired by Steve Irwin to save the jungle habitat of the orangutans, Daniel together with brother William have raised over $705,000 for the cause. Do you know local legends like Daniel and William? Nominate them for a Pride of Australia Medal.Daniel & William Clarke NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AND PEOPLES CHOICE MEDALLISTS 2012 NOMINATE A LEGEND No mi na tio ns clo se 29 Ju ly NOMINATE NOW AT @prideofaustraliamedal ntnews.com.au/prideofaustralia @prideofoz