A farm, a family, a business — those are all things you need to know if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, the head of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says.
In a recent podcast, the RACOG general manager, Dr Peter Tufnell, told listeners the need for medical professionals has increased as a result of new technology.
“It’s not that we haven’t had people in the last five years, we’ve had a lot of people who’ve been working in these fields and there are so many new people coming into the field,” he said.
“So I think there’s been a bit of a surge in the number of people needing a doctor.”
Dr Tufell said the use of technology had made it easier to track and control health outcomes for women.
“In the past, we’d have to take out a test to confirm that we were pregnant and if we were, we would do a blood test, a urine test and then we’d put that on a screen that was just a picture and it would be up to a couple of hours later that we’d take it back,” he told the ABC.
“Now you can do a test, take it home, get it done and it can be done at a time you’re happy with, you don’t have to worry about it.”
The RACog’s survey revealed a high proportion of pregnant women were unaware of the need to have a doctor and the majority of those questioned believed the health care system was too busy to care for their needs.
“We’ve had people who have been in this field for years, maybe they’ve been married, maybe their partner’s been there, maybe it’s been three or four years, they don’t even know that,” Dr Tufett said.
He said the increasing number of new mothers was making the medical community more aware of the issues they faced.
“I think a lot more people are aware of it,” he says.
“They’re more aware that you need an OBGYN.
They’re more conscious of getting an assessment done.”
He said it was important for people to have access to the right medical services.
“The fact is that we’ve got an increasing number and more and more women, particularly in rural areas, who don’t get the services that they need,” he explained.
“And the problem is that there’s a lot less and less available care in terms of OBGYNs and GPs and hospital care.”
Dr Rauf said while the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is not in favour of the increased use of medical technology in the workplace, there was a growing body of evidence suggesting that it could be beneficial.
“There are a number of different studies that have been done in Australia and in the UK and elsewhere on how that’s actually improved outcomes for patients,” he explains.
“For example, there’s some evidence that there is a reduction in hospitalisation in children and adolescents with conditions that are very similar to those that you would see in people who are breastfeeding or who are pregnant.”
Dr Hirschmann said while technology could improve access to care, it should be done in a way that was not overly intrusive.
“As technology evolves, it will make it easier for us to do what we’re doing in terms and when and where we want to do it, but it’s really up to us to think about how we use that technology to improve the quality of care that we provide,” she said.
Topics:health,medical-research,birth,health,pregnancy-and-childbirth,abortion,health-policy,women,tourism,diseases-and_disorders,healthcare-facilities,australiaContact Sarah ParnellMore stories from New South Wales