CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
CHAIR OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON STILLBIRTH RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
SENATOR FOR NT
SENATOR THE HON. KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
SENATOR CATRYNA BILYK
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
LABOR WELCOMES COMMITMENT TO DRIVE DOWN STILLBIRTH RATES
Labor welcomes news the Government has agreed, or agreed in principle, to all the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education.
The announcement from the Government and Health Minister Greg Hunt of an extra $52.4 million in funding for perinatal services is also welcome news.
This commitment will aid research and prevention programs to drive down Australia’s stillbirth rate.
A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows fewer stillbirths are occurring in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Regrettably, Australia still loses as many as six babies to stillbirth every day – that’s 2,200 babies every year and it is the leading cause of infant death. For Indigenous women, the rate of stillbirth is much higher.
The rate of death from stillbirth is higher than the national road toll.
Labor remains committed to working with the Government in a bipartisan way to prevent these tragic deaths in the future and we offer our support to the Health Minister in developing a National Stillbirth Action Plan.
The Labor initiated and chaired Committee was the first national investigation and report on the impact of stillbirth on Australian families and the Australian economy.
The truth is, there is nothing that can be done to ease the pain for those families who have gone through the trauma and are living with the grief of a stillbirth.
We must take action now and continue to work together to prevent stillbirth so we can save babies' lives.