Alliance Councillor Geraldine Rice has met with the Health Minister Des Browne to discuss how services can be improved in Northern Ireland.
Cllr Rice said the Minister had agreed to examine midwife-led maternity units as a means of lessening the burden of local hospitals.
Cllr Rice stated: “In 90 percent of cases, pregnant women do not need all of the facilities that a local hospital offers. But because that is the only real option for many women, it means that a hospital bed is used no matter what her circumstances.”
“There should be other options available for expectant mothers. Some would prefer to have their baby at home, for example, but midwife-led maternity units would also be able to cater for the vast majority of pregnancies.”
“Not only would these units be specifically tailored towards maternity services, but it would mean that more beds in local hospitals would be freed up for those most in need, and help reduce waiting lists.”