A Idaho hospital decided to eliminate its labor and delivery section, citing the “political climate”.
“Highly respected and talented physicians are departing. Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, Idaho said Friday that it will be extremely difficult to find replacements. “The Idaho Legislature continues introducing and passing bills that criminalize doctors for providing medical care that is nationally recognized as the standard. Idaho Physicians who provide the standard of care could face civil litigation or criminal prosecution that could lead to jail time and fines.
This statement is made after Idaho passed some of the most stringent abortion restrictions in America last year. It also includes a provision that allows people to sue doctors who perform abortions for up to five consecutive years.
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Bonner General was forced to close their labor and birth department. The hospital countered, Ford Elsaesser, president of the board, said they had tried everything to avoid this outcome.
Elsaesser stated in the post that “we have done everything to avoid eliminating these services.” “We hoped that we would be an exception, but now our challenges are too great to ignore.”
Patients who used Bonner General to deliver their babies will have to travel 45 miles to the hospitals in Coeur d’Alene, Washington or Spokane.
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Bonner General said that the hospital had struggled to maintain pediatrician cover. This would have made it unsafe and unethical for routine Labor and Delivery services to be offered.
The hospital noted that the area is changing and pointed out that the hospital has fewer babies being born each year.
Although the hospital stated that it would continue to provide labor and delivery services until May 19, they cautioned that this goal would be met only if the department has enough staff.
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The hospital stated that “the closure of obstetrics won’t be an easy transition to our Bonner General Health team or our community and surround area.”