RMCH temporarily closes labor and delivery unit

[anvplayer video=”5124393″ station=”998122″]

GALLUP, N.M. – Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital announced it is temporarily closing its Labor and Delivery Unit on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

RMCH said the unit will take its last patients on July 31, so they can deliver and recover before the unit loses nursing coverage.

After Aug. 3, officials say patients will be able to receive emergency care at the Gallup Indian Medical Center, regardless of their beneficiary status. That includes labor. For expectant mothers who are able to plan ahead, the closest hospital with an active labor and delivery unit is an hour away in Grants.

A family medicine physician, currently doing obstetrics at RMCH, said the hospital is helping its current patients establish care at other facilities, where they can deliver.

RMCHCS CEO Robert Whitaker said there is no timeline for when Labor and Delivery will reopen, and attributed the closure to a shortage of nurses and physicians.

“We understand how important this service is to our community and are working to ensure that when we do have the pieces in place to have the program back up and running, that that is set up for the long term and we have a good program for families,” he said.

Whitaker said the nurses who work in Labor and Delivery now, will be reassigned to other departments in the hospital next week.