Chinchilla birth unit aborted

A RURAL Queensland maternity unit will close this week - just two months after Health Minister Steven Miles announced it would reopen.

The Chinchilla maternity unit had been on bypass to Dalby since December 2018 and reopened in November.

It closed again for the Christmas holidays until December 27, and by New Year, the decision was made that services would not be available from January 17.

"The ongoing issues with maternity in Chinchilla are farcical and the show depth and breadth of mismanagement and lazy recruitment, the Maternity Consumer Network's Alecia Staines said.

"Those making decisions have total disregard for the community and the mental and emotional wellbeing of the birthing population."

Women from Taroom will have to travel more than 250km to give birth at Dalby, while Chinchilla women face an 80km drive to Dalby.

"Following community consultation in 2018, it was clear the chinchilla community wanted to transition to a midwife-led model of care," Mr Miles said.

"Darling Downs HHS is currently recruiting additional staff to make this happen."

Mr Miles said the closure was temporary. He also revealed the Rural Maternity Taskforce, set up after a Sunday Mail investigation into winding back obstetric services in rural areas, would visit four sites next month - Theodore, Roma, Mt Isa, and Ingham, to investigate problems.