Obstetric services remain paused at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre. (File photo)

Obstetric services remain paused at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre. (File photo)

Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre’s obstetric services remain ‘paused’ amid staffing issues

Pregnant patients who were hoping to deliver their children in Rimbey will need to speak to their doctors to come up with other options due to the ongoing closure of obstetrics services at the Rimbey Hospital.

Obstetrics services were initially closed at the facility as part of Alberta Health Services (AHS) pandemic response. Other measures taken as part of the pandemic response included the temporary closure of acute care beds at the facility due to “staffing challenges.”

While acute care beds have reopened at the facility, obstetrical patients continue to be diverted to other facilities due to challenges pertaining to recruiting qualified and experienced staff, according to a media release put out by AHS senior communications advisor Tracy Kennedy.

Kennedy notes that while Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre has previously supported low-risk deliveries, higher-risk births have always been referred to other sites equipped with surgical support, something Rimbey lacks.

“Obstetric patients presenting to the (emergency department) will continue to be assessed by the on-call physician as appropriate before they are transferred,” continued Kennedy, in the release.

“Should a labouring patient present at the site too far along to be safely transported, emergency care will be provided.”

Kennedy also noted that prior to obstetric services being paused, delivery rates were already declining in recent years with around 80 per cent of patients delivering elsewhere in 2020/2021.

While obstetric services are not being offered in the community, pre- and post-natal care for patients and infants continues through the local Rimbey Physician offices.

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