(AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

Chilliwack maternity ward closure narrowed to two weeks

Fraser Health says they’ve found a solution to an expected 13-week shortage of obstetricians

The closure of Chilliwack hospital’s maternity ward has been narrowed down to two weeks, according to a release sent out by Fraser Health Thursday afternoon.

“Thanks to the strong teamwork of Fraser Health and its partners, full maternity services will resume on July 9 at Chilliwack General Hospital, reducing the total diversion time down to two weeks from the anticipated 15 weeks,” the release states.

However, there will still be a diversion protocol in place for a short time. From June 24 to July 9, Fraser Health is asking pregnant women who were going to give birth at CGH to go to nearby Abbotsford Regional Hospital instead.

The closure is due to an unexpected shortage of on-call obstetricians, from Chilliwack’s regular three who cover maternity calls.

“The health and safety of moms and babies is our first priority,” Fraser Health said. “We appreciate the impact this service change may have, but it is temporary and not expected to impact a large number of patients. The decision to have a temporary diversion was made to ensure a high level of care for expecting mothers, in part due to an obstetrician shortage.”

Fraser Health adds that patients do not need to find new doctors or midwives, nor do they need to make arrangements to seek out a physician at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

“All those arrangements will be made by their current care team for the time period of the temporary diversion.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack maternity diversion a ‘disservice,’ Kent council says

For pregnant women, routine prenatal care will continue to take place through community offices, as will postnatal care, and that routine non-stress testing (baby heart beat test) will continue at Chilliwack General Hospital during this time, and it would only be for high-risk pregnancies that non-stress testing would be referred to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Typically Chilliwack has three obstetricians providing full coverage. However, from June 24-July 9, there is only one obstetrician to provide 24/7 coverage which is not sustainable from a patient care and safety perspective. Chilliwack General Hospital will be on a limited two-week diversion during this time period and following that will resume regular maternity service.

Fraser Health says that “all hospital services have diversion plans in place for specialized services such as maternity, cardiac care or trauma and these plans are to ensure that patients who need these levels of service always have access to care even if there is intermittent capacity or human resource challenges at one site.”

“For Chilliwack General Hospital, intermittent diversion may occur for these reasons as per our normal network of hospital practices.”

The release does not say how the health authority is covering off the weeks that were expected to be diverted. However, earlier this week, they did post a listing for a fourth OB/GYN on Indeed.com.

The advertisement states: “We are seeking a 4th colleague to join our Chilliwack OB/GYN group. We are a collegial group who work closely with an excellent family practice group and midwifery groups. Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH) is a 131 bed, University of BC affiliated community hospital offering medical, surgical, obstetrics, psychiatry, and a regional eye centre, as well as 24/7 emergency services with 60,585 visits annually.”


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hang gliding video gives stunning view of Harrison and Fraser river confluence

Aerial view shows striking difference between two rivers as they meet

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

The most h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s spelling bee you’ll ever see in Chilliwack

Secondary Characters Musical Theatre hits the stage with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Volunteers pulling out all the stop to try to find Grace Baranyk, 86

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

Justin Trudeau’s carbon footprint revealed in ranking of world leaders

Travel company ranks 15 world leaders’ foreign flight CO2 emissions

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Most Read