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Leongatha maternity service strengthened

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

The Leongatha maternity service has been strengthened with the recruitment of a new GP obstetrician while measures are being taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Dr Sam Bell has joined the team of GP obstetricians – Dr Joel Fanning, Dr Sewellyn Gale, Dr Neetu Grover, Dr Jean Nee Khoo and Dr Elise Ly at Leongatha Healthcare.

The recruitment comes as the team introduces precautionary measures to minimise the risk of covid-19 infection.

Dr Fanning said Leongatha Healthcare would contact all pregnant women to keep them up to date and informed about the virus.

The major changes include a move from face-to-face consultations to more telehealth appointments done through the Leongatha Healthcare clinic and through the midwives at the hospital. All telehealth consultations are bulk-billed. Physical antenatal checks are still deemed an important part of antenatal visits, and these will be scheduled as necessary.

During the COVID-19 pandemic there may be anxiety experienced by expectant mothers for themselves and their unborn baby. The Australian obstetric college, RANZCOG, has produced a statement with information for pregnant women and their families, accessible via this link:

“All of our GP obstetricians are also available to be contacted for a bulk-billed telehealth consultation for further support if needed,” Dr Fanning said.

Referrals for antenatal visits and birthing in Leongatha can be facilitated by other health professionals or patients directly by ringing Leongatha Healthcare clinic on (03) 5662 2201. Dr Bell has joined the team having worked recently at Bass Coast Health. He provides supportive, patient-led obstetric care including caesarean sections. "I'm really proud to be joining a fantastic team of doctors and midwives,” he said.

“Our maternity service is a backbone of the local community and I’m looking forward to being able to make my contribution”.


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