Dr Michael Koutsoukis (right) and Dr Damayanthi Rathnayaka will lead the Women’s Health Clinic at Warrnambool Base Hospital. TWO new doctors will lead South West Healthcare’s (SWH) Women’s Health Clinic as it aims to deliver up to 900 babies a year.
Nanjing Night Net

New specialists Dr Michael Koutsoukis and Dr Damayanthi Rathnayaka are the Warrnambool Base Hospital’s first salaried obstetricians and gynaecologists.

The Women’s Health Clinic will increase SWH’s obstetric services from 650 baby deliveries a year to 900, as Warrnambool’s St John of God Hospital ends its long-running obstetric service.

The women’s health specialists, who started at the hospital this month, will also help future-proof the south-west from the medical specialist drought facing much of regional Victoria.

Dr Koutsoukis said obstetric services would be available in Warrnambool for the first time as part of a public healthcare system.

“The service was historically run by visiting medical officers, who did a fantastic job, but the advantage now is we have full-time medical officers here every day on site and we can now provide a structure to the service,” he said.

“We’d like to expand what we can offer. The more babies we deliver, the better service we can provide.

“It’s important to build better integration between allied health services and we’re hoping our clinics will help do that.”

He said a young adolescent pregnancy program would begin on Monday, designed for mothers aged 20 years and under.

Dr Rathnayaka said she looked forward to meeting new people in Warrnambool after working for the past few years in Hervey Bay, Queensland. “It’s rewarding working with mothers and the team here is really good,” she said. “The clinic is new here so it’ll be great to get everything running smoothly.”

SWH CEO John Krygger said the hospital was entering a new era in readiness by becoming the sole provider of obstetric services in Warrnambool.

“With the appointment of Dr Michael Koutsoukis as our new director of obstetrics and gynaecology we believe we can provide a first class service to the women of this region,” Mr Krygger said.

“South West Healthcare now boasts a high level of clinical firepower in this vital speciality which is growing rapidly.

“These two new specialists join Dr Chris Beaton and Dr Liz Uren in providing obstetric services for the 900 deliveries forecast per year.”

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