An increasing number of expectant mothers are being turned away from Milton Ulladulla Hospital, being told to instead have their babies in Nowra.
Virtually all women expecting their first baby and all indigenous expectant mothers are being sent to the better equipped Shoalhaven Hospital.
Pregnant women from the Ulladulla region with histories of difficult births, caesarean sections, of health problems including gestational diabetes have been told to go elsewhere.
Even expectant mothers whose weight is slightly above the ideal body mass index have been told to deliver their babies in Nowra.
A Milton Ulladulla Hospital spokesperson made no apologies for the move, emphasising the hospital was not equipped to handle anything more than simple deliveries.
Milton doctor Josette Docherty said the official approach to mothers giving birth at Milton had changed “quite significantly” in recent months.
“We don’t agree with what they’re trying to get us to do, but at the moment we have no choice,” she said.
Doctors have been fighting the change through the Australian Medical Association.
Dr Docherty rejected health service claims the hospital was not equipped to handle anything more than simple births.
One of four doctors providing obstetric service to Milton Hospital, Dr Docherty stressed, “We are all very well trained, holding the Advanced Diploma of Obstetrics from the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists”.
Doctors fear that changes might be part of a push to shut down maternity at the Milton Hospital, according to Dr Docherty.