New mums swelter in overheated LGH

Tasmanian Labor
  • Mums and babies left hot and bothered
  • Adverse health outcomes associated with overheating
  • Frontline staff in unsafe workplace
  • In the middle of a short-term heatwave, new mothers and babies in the Launceston General Hospital have been left without air conditioning.

    Labor Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne said the conditions on the maternity ward were unacceptable.

    “Not only are new mothers having to cope with the discomfort of high temperatures just after having given birth, the health of mums and babies is being put at risk.

    “Babies are unable to regulate their body temperature and need to be in conditions no hotter than 19-20 degrees. Overheated rooms have been associated with a number of adverse health outcomes.

    “Newborns are among the most vulnerable patients in hospitals, yet are being provided with the least safe conditions in terms of overheating.”

    State Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Emily Shepherd said the conditions were unsatisfactory for health workers as well.

    “Employers have an obligation to manage risk to employees, including those associated with working in heat.

    “In this instance it not only applies to staff but also, as a health provider, supporting patients whose personal factors increase the need for good climate control.”

    The Health Services Establishments Code notes that hospitals “must provide appropriate air temperature control that will provide a safe and comfortable environment for patient, staff and visitors.”

    Ms O’Byrne said Will Hodgman and Sarah Courtney have a duty of care to Tasmanians, but are failing to uphold it.

    “It’s yet another sign of the shortcuts being taken in Tasmania’s public health system, that continue to put at risk the wellbeing of patients and frontline workers.”

    Michelle O’Byrne

    Labor Member for Bass

    /Public Release. View in full here.