It is with our deepest regret that we need to announce the closure of our clinics in Southport, Townsville and Rockhampton in Queensland, and Newcastle in New South Wales at the end of August. This is not a decision we have made lightly. We have exhausted all possible options and extended our tenure for as long as we could.
This closure directly affects 49 people. While some will move into other roles at Marie Stopes, others will be supported to move onto roles in the broader health sector, and will be assisted during a six week consultation period where we’re working closely with each person to work through how we can help during this difficult transition.
We are deeply grateful for these individuals dedication to community care in and their surrounding regions and we’ll be keeping in touch with those who want to remain part of the Marie Stopes family.
We are committed to working with local hospitals and public health entities to transition services to the public sector and other providers as we exit our clinics over the coming months. We will continue a strong telehealth presence and undoubtedly continue to play a pivotal role in connecting clients to timely access to care, wherever they may be. We have built strong relationships with our sector colleagues and providers and we extend our gratitude for all the support and camaraderie over the last year.
Costs continue to rise and as such our regional clinics have been functioning below the capacity required to sustain their fixed financial outgoings for some time. Meanwhile, the terms of our historical lease agreement in a large footprint of regional areas have changed and we cannot reasonably commit to them long term.
As an organisation, we must now turn our attention to building more sustainable models of care and the unique benefit we provide the communities which we can sustainably service. Now that we move closer to the national decriminalisation of abortion, we hope part of this is continued and strong engagement from governments, advocacy groups, peak bodies and professional colleges.
While we close the page on one part of the reproductive rights journey in Australia, with mixed feelings due to the difficult decisions we are having to make; we also look to the future with courage, about the quality and standards of care and dignity that we hope awaits women and pregnant people in Australia, and the part we can continue to play in that.
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For further information or for media inquiries, contact Bonney Corbin, Marie Stopes Australia, 0428 396 391.
Marie Stopes Australia is a national not-for-profit provider of sexual and reproductive health services including permanent and long-acting reversible contraception and abortion care. For more information on our clinic network visit mariestopes.org.au.