California hospital to suspend labor and delivery for 1st time in 62-year history

The board of directors for Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, Calif., voted July 27 to indefinitely suspend labor and delivery services, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The decision is a first in the hospital’s 62-year history, the newspaper reported. It is likely to take effect in October.

"We understand the significant impact it will have on expectant mothers and their families, as well as dedicated staff who have tirelessly supported the unit over the years," Board Chair Tracy Younger said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. "We recognize the vital role that the labor and delivery unit plays, and ensuring safe and specialized care during childbirth, and we deeply empathize with concerns and anxieties that this decision may raise within our community."

The closure comes amid closures of birthing centers and OB-GYN services across the U.S. Tri-City Medical Center's plans to potentially suspend labor and delivery services sparked protesting from nurses last spring.

The hospital attributed its decision to financial challenges and changes in patient referrals to inland hospitals.

Tri-City Medical Center is pursuing collaboration with "a variety of potential affiliate partners in search of a collaboration that would not only save but grow this service line," the hospital said in a memorandum published July 26, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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