Wisconsin critical access hospital to cut labor and delivery services

Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County in Darlington, Wis., will stop delivering babies Sept. 30 due to declining volumes and concerns about cost, according to a SWNews4U report.

This decision means MHLC will become one of 19 critical access hospitals in the state to not have labor and delivery services. This reflects a larger national trend, as just 20 percent of counties nationwide have access to obstetrics services.

Julie Chikowski, CEO of MHLC, said the decision to end labor and delivery services was a difficult one. "However, we have to face the reality that we, like many others who have chosen this, live in a county with an aging population and too few births to ensure safe, quality outcomes for our patients," she said, according to the report. "As a smaller hospital and clinic, we need to focus our resources to meet the needs of our community."

The physicians and nurses in the hospital's emergency department can still perform deliveries in case of an emergency, according to the report.

More articles on hospital services:
St. Elizabeth Healthcare to build $40M hospital for mental health services
Doctors Medical Center closes after more than 60 years of patient care
Campbellton-Graceville Hospital braces for closure

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