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Stevenson Memorial Hospital shuts down obstetrics unit for two days

The obstetrics unit at Stevenson Memorial Hospital has been closed for the last two days.

It's an operation that delivered 566 babies in the previous fiscal year.

"When we're down an obstetrician, that means that gaps in our call schedule generally are prone to arising, and that's what happened this time," says SMH Interim Chief of Staff Dr. Barry Nathanson.

He says issues like this won't last forever, but for now, there is a chance that it will happen again.

"At Stevenson, our problem is physician human resources for now. Other sites have troubles with nursing human resources, but our community needs to be prepared, unfortunately, for episodic gaps in services, and it is a new reality, at least for the time being."

Dr. Nathanson says this is a healthcare problem internationally; even recruiting is getting competitive. However, he believes their revitalization will help with that.

"We're working very, very hard on the recruitment side to close this gap not just with anybody but with an obstetrician who meets the standards of Stevenson," says Dr. Nathanson.

During the two-day closure, ambulances and appointments are being redirected to other hospitals in the region.

Dr. Nathanson says this is a cultural hit to their hospital that takes pride in providing seamless 24/7 care and building relationships with patients.

"It's something that we value as much as our patients and their families value. Sending them somewhere else is really an athame for us, but it's a necessity. It's what we have to do these days," he says.

The unit is set to open again Wednesday at 9 am. Top Stories

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