A second hospital in Idaho introduced it’ll stop offering labor and supply providers for pregnant girls within the coming months, citing staffing shortages and different challenges.
“It has been increasingly difficult and unsustainably expensive to recruit and retain a full team of high-quality, broad-spectrum nurses to work in a rural setting where nurses need to be proficient in many different fields,” reads an announcement from Valor Health final week.
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The hospital plans to stop supply providers by June 1. The subsequent closest hospital is a 40-minute drive away in Caldwell, the Idaho Statesman reported.
Valor Health expects to ship fewer than 50 babies this yr, far under its historic common of 66 babies per yr, in accordance to the hospital.
The hospital is the second to announce an finish to labor providers inside a two-week span. Earlier in March, Bonner General Health in Sandpoint partially blamed the state’s new abortion legal guidelines for the closure of its maternity ward.
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Bonner General plans to stop accepting new obstetric sufferers and stop delivering babies by May 19. The hospital cited declining birthrates, lack of pediatricians and Idaho’s “legal and political climate” as causes for the closure.
“Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult,” reads an announcement from the hospital.
The Idaho Legislature “continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care,” the assertion continues. “Consequences for Idaho Physicians providing the standard of care may include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, leading to jail time or fines.”
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Last yr, Idaho’s governor signed a near-total ban on abortions within the state, opening the door for medical doctors to be imprisoned up to 5 years for performing an abortion. The legislation makes exceptions in circumstances the place a health care provider deems the process vital to stop the dying of the pregnant lady, or in circumstances of rape or incest that have been reported to police.
While Valor Health doesn’t cite state legal guidelines as the explanation for its recruiting difficulties, one physician stated attracting new physicians has been “virtually impossible since late summer 2022, which should be setting off alarm bells throughout Idaho.”
“Family medicine and generalist OBGYN physicians, who manage the vast majority of pregnant patients in our state, are also signaling a desire to limit their practice, retire early or leave Idaho,” Dr. John M. Werdel, medical director of ladies’s well being care at St. Luke’s Health System, wrote in a latest op-ed.