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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1113 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 April 2018 by Hon Nick Goiran

Question Directed to the: Parliamentary Secretary representing the Minister for Health
Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

I refer to the addition of Broome Hospital as an approved facility under the provisions of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 (the Act) to perform abortions at 20 weeks or more of pregnancy, and I ask:
(a) when was Broome Hospital given approval by the Minister under the Act;
(b) who requested the Minister to give approval under the Act;
(c) what were the grounds on which that approval was given;
(d) for each year, including the year in which approval was first given, how many abortions at 20 weeks or more of pregnancy have been performed at Broome Hospital; and
(e) have any hospitals in addition to King Edward Memorial Hospital and Broome Hospital ever been approved under the provisions of the Act to perform abortions at 20 weeks or more of pregnancy?

Answered on 12 June 2018

I am advised that:

(a) Approval was provided to Broome Hospital on 11 January 2017.

(b) WA Country Health Service Executive requested the approval. An initial request for consideration came from two Kimberley Regional Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

(c) The request was made to the Minster on the grounds that prior to Broome Hospital’s approval under the Act, women requiring termination of pregnancy at or over 20 weeks gestation needed transfer to King Edward Memorial Hospital. In the Kimberley, the most common reason for termination at this gestation was for pre-viable early rupture of placental membranes and severe infection. This required two RFDS plane trips to reach Perth, and the delay in performing the termination placed the woman’s life in considerable danger. A small number of terminations were for severe fetal abnormalities, which meant for Aboriginal women they had to deliver ‘off country’ which they found culturally unsafe and made the situation even more distressing.

(d) Less than 5.

(e) No