Certain age groups of children will not be able to receive health services in Melton and Wyndham as Victorian councils struggle with staff shortages.
The two Councils stated the temporary stoppage of the services are due to workforce pressures that began outside of the pandemic, as well as current nurse shortages and a high local birth rate.
The maternal and child services are designed to be a universal service offered by all councils in Victoria, providing important information on the development stages of children and catching any illnesses early-on.
The Wyndham Council website said,“Wyndham’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services are experiencing significant workforce pressures and shortages, combined with increased service demand.”
The Council said that alternative models are being prepared to be available from mid-2022, and it encourages families to monitor Wyndham’s website for further information.
Melton Council shared a similar update on their website, citing that Maternal and Child Health consultations “remain temporarily paused for older infants aged four months and over, and existing appointments will unfortunately need to be cancelled”.
Both Wyndham and Melton Council announced they are prioritising certain services first.
- Youngest infants, children and families first
- All Indigenous Australian infants, children and families
- All children and families with additional needs or concerns, including families on the Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Program and those with COVID-19.
The Maternal and Child services section of both Council websites offers alternative information and supportive services for families unable to organise a service.
Health restrictions for maternal and child services were seen earlier in 2022. Such as the “code brown” that was implemented by the Department of Health on January 28 for six weeks, due to COVID-19 and its impact on hospitals.