More midwives announced for Vic baby boom

·1-min read

Victoria's extended COVID-19 lockdown last year has sparked a baby boom, with one regional healthcare service reporting a 51 per cent increase in deliveries.

That has prompted the state government to announce it will spend $13.2 million to hire extra midwives.

Health Minister Martin Foley on Friday announced the funds for 175 additional staff at 38 public health services across Victoria.

He said an extra 1423 births are expected between April and August 2021, compared to the same period last year.

"We're in the middle of a baby COVID boom here in Victoria ... in some areas in particular, we have seen an enormous increase in numbers of babies being born," he said.

"That has placed huge pressure on our hard-working midwifery staff."

Mr Foley said the Western District health service, based in Hamilton, had reported the 51 per cent increase.

Sandringham Hospital has the biggest increase in Melbourne, at 21 per cent.

Western Health has the highest number of extra babies - 348, or a 13 per cent increase.

"We didn't anticipate this baby boom, because we didn't really anticipate the global pandemic," Mr Foley said.

"The two seem to be directly linked. But we welcome all the Victorian babies, and what we want to make sure is that they get the best care."

Victorian Greens' deputy leader Ellen Sandell welcomed the new midwife funding, saying it came after more than 3000 people signed up to her campaign for more support.

"This year our public maternity services has been in crisis," she said in a statement.

"I'm glad the Victorian government is finally responding, after so many midwives, mums and the Greens have raised the alarm."

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