Hunter New England Health (HNEH) has dispelled concerns that the maternity ward at Gunnedah hospital will close.
Concerns were raised after one Gunnedah GP obstetrician resigned in August, with locals worried that this would mean pregnant women would not receive the care needed when giving birth.
But HNEH's executive director of rural and regional services, Susan Heyman, says there are "no plans" to change the services.
"One Gunnedah GP obstetrician resigned in August and two long-serving GPs have continued to provide obstetric services to women since," Ms Heyman said.
"Both doctors plan to take a few days of well-deserved leave during the Christmas and New Year break.
"We encourage our hard working doctors to take leave when suitable so they can recharge and continue to provide the community with quality care during the year."
In a draft submission to the NSW parliamentary inquiry into rural health in the November council papers, a line states that the operation of the maternity ward was "dependent upon the availability of two local doctors and if they are unavailable, the ward simply shuts with patients transferred to the Tamworth Hospital".
"It is unthinkable that metropolitan based mothers would have to deal with the
possibility that the maternity ward at their local hospital may or may not be open on the day or hour
they arrive to have their baby," Gunnedah Shire Council's Colin Formann wrote in the draft submission.
But Ms Heyman said midwives would be speaking to expectant women "due to give birth in coming weeks to discuss plans for their care".
"Depending on each woman's needs, she will receive appropriate care either in Gunnedah or another nearby hospital like Tamworth Hospital, when the GPs are temporarily unavailable," she said.
"During this time, women in labour ... should present to Gunnedah Health Service as normal, for comprehensive assessment by midwives.
"In consultation with medical staff as required, the midwives will determine whether the woman can safely give birth at Gunnedah, or if she should be referred or transferred to a higher level hospital for delivery."
Ms Heyman noted that any plans for the woman's care would "depend on a range of factors including her medical history, experience of pregnancy complications and stage of labour".