Staffing issues prompt obstetrics units at two N.B. hospitals to close this week
Women who go into labour over the next couple of days in two New Brunswick communities will have to travel further to give birth in hospital.
That's because there are staffing issues at the Upper River Valley Hospital or the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst.
At the Upper River Valley Hospital, it’s surgeons who are capable of performing a caesarian section and in Bathurst it’s obstetrics nurses.
About three dozen pregnant women in the Upper River Valley area have been personally notified of the temporary lack of service.
“In the spirit of best care to our patients, we're asking woman that are going into labour or threatening to go into labour, to go into a facility that has that back-up, specifically the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital or the Edmundson Regional Hospital,” said Dr. John Dornan of Horizon Health.
Horizon Health says additional training is planned for surgeons in the River Valley area, to enable more doctors to perform C-sections, and avoid similar disruptions.
“All expectant mothers that are 35 weeks pregnant and over will be contacted by obstetrics nursing staff,” Horizon Health said in a news release.
Vitalite Health Network said obstetrical services at the Chaleur Regional Hospital will be interrupted temporarily from Monday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. until Friday at 8 a.m.
“During that time, pregnant women will be directed to the Campbell ton Regional Hospital and the Miramichi Regional Hospital to give birth,” Vitalite Health said in a news release.
According to Johanne Roy, vice-president of clinical services for Vitalite Health Network, much effort has been devoted to find enough nursing staff to safely provide services, but to no avail. “Unfortunately, this leaves us no other choice but to interrupt these services in Bathurst temporarily,” she stated, adding that all patients likely to give birth this week had been contacted personally.