Hospital baby death 'highlights culture of cover-up'

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The Northern Territory Opposition says a coroner's report into the death of a newborn baby at the Royal Darwin Hospital shows there is a culture of cover-up in the health system. The Coroner criticised the hospital for taking seven months to report the death of Georgia Rae Tilmouth, who died shortly after she was born in 2006. He said the hospital's failure to report makes him wonder if there are other deaths that have never been properly examined ....

"What exists in the Royal Darwin Hospital is a culture of cover-up," he said.

The hospital's general manager, Len Notaras, says he does not believe there are any outstanding reportable deaths that have not been referred to the Coroner.

It's always interesting to hear both sides of a story. After recent media reports about "homebirth" deaths, you'd think babies only die at home. Babies die at home or in hospital, and far more die in hospital given the numbers of babies that are born in hospital. It always amazes me that when a baby dies in hospital, the details are not splashed on the front page of newspapers, but when a baby is born at home, it's newsworthy.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting.