Two-day rural maternity summit held in Cairns

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Maternity Summit 2019 was organised at the request of the Honourable Steven Miles MP, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services. It was a chance to share the progress and achievements from the Statewide Maternity Service Forum 2016, and present the Rural Maternity Taskforce deliverables.

Approximately 150 key stakeholders attended the Cairns event, held on 18 and 19 June 2019, including:

  • a lead consumer, midwife and obstetrician from most Hospital and Health Services (HHSs)
  • HHS Board chairs
  • chief executives and senior executives
  • representatives from professional, consumer and industrial bodies
  • obstetric and midwifery academics
  • primary care
  • experts in safety, quality and governance
  • interstate jurisdictional (New South Wales and Victoria) and national representatives.

Day one presented the achievements of the four Maternity Service Action Groups (MSAGs), established in 2017, as an outcome from the 2016 forum. Six key initiatives from the four MSAGs highlighted the progress achieved and showcased HHS implementation where relevant.


The second day focussed on the Rural Maternity Taskforce and saw the launch of the taskforce report. This included six recommendations, and discussion of the first draft of the Queensland Rural and Remote Maternity Services Planning Framework. The taskforce was required to advise on:

  • the safety of Queensland’s rural maternity services
  • what steps could be taken to minimise risks for mothers and babies in rural and remote communities while providing services near where they live.

The Minister spoke of his commitment to ensure HHSs provide woman-centred maternity services across Queensland regardless of where the mother lives—every woman deserves the chance to have her baby safely.

Dr John Wakefield also challenged each HHS to start to talk—but, more importantly, to listen—to their communities.

For more information, see the Rural Maternity Taskforce webpage.

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Last updated: 26 August 2019