A second hospital in Idaho introduced it would cease offering labor and supply providers for pregnant ladies within the coming months, citing staffing shortages and different challenges.
“It has been more and more troublesome and unsustainably costly to recruit and retain a full group of high-quality, broad-spectrum nurses to work in a rural setting the place nurses have to be proficient in many alternative fields,” reads an announcement from Valor Well being final week.
Valor Well being expects to ship fewer than 50 infants this yr, far under its historic common of 66 infants per yr, according to the hospital.
The hospital is the second to announce an finish to labor providers inside a two-week span. Earlier in March, Bonner Basic Well being in Sandpoint partially blamed the state’s new abortion legal guidelines for the closure of its maternity ward.
Bonner Basic plans to cease accepting new obstetric sufferers and cease delivering infants by Could 19. The hospital cited declining birthrates, lack of pediatricians and Idaho’s “authorized and political local weather” as causes for the closure.
“Extremely revered, gifted physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements can be terribly troublesome,” reads a statement from the hospital.
The Idaho Legislature “continues to introduce and go payments that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally acknowledged as the usual of care,” the assertion continues. “Penalties for Idaho Physicians offering the usual of care might embody civil litigation and legal prosecution, resulting in jail time or fines.”
Final yr, Idaho’s governor signed a near-total ban on abortions within the state, opening the door for medical doctors to be imprisoned as much as 5 years for performing an abortion. The legislation makes exceptions in circumstances the place a health care provider deems the process crucial to forestall the demise of the pregnant lady, or in circumstances of rape or incest that had been reported to police.
Whereas Valor Well being doesn’t cite state legal guidelines as the explanation for its recruiting difficulties, one physician mentioned attracting new physicians has been “nearly unimaginable since late summer season 2022, which ought to be setting off alarm bells all through Idaho.”
“Household medication and generalist OBGYN physicians, who handle the overwhelming majority of pregnant sufferers in our state, are additionally signaling a want to restrict their apply, retire early or depart Idaho,” Dr. John M. Werdel, medical director of ladies’s well being care at St. Luke’s Well being System, wrote in a recent op-ed.