Women planning on birthing at Chilliwack General Hospital this summer may have further to travel than originally thought: CGH is planning on diverting its patients to Abbotsford for the coming months. Photo by Trevor Gawdin

Update: Chilliwack General Hospital diverting moms-to-be to Abbotsford starting June 24

Pregnant women to be diverted from Chilliwack’s hospital due to lack of doctors

Parents-to-be in the eastern Fraser Valley who planned on delivering their children at Chilliwack General Hospital will soon have to temporarily go elsewhere to give birth.

Due to personal circumstances reducing the availability of CGH’s only two practicing obstetrician-gynecologists, medical coverage on the maternity ward would be lacking if an emergency situation presented during a labour. So Fraser Health is now asking pregnant women in the eastern Fraser Valley—from Chilliwack to Boston Bar—who are due at the end of the month to head to Abbotsford when it comes time to deliver their babies.

READ MORE: ‘Critical’ nursing shortage at B.C. hospital has pregnant women travelling hours to give birth

“Fraser Health is asking pregnant women not to come to Chilliwack General Hospital temporarily, beginning June 24,” the health region stated in a public service announcement released late Wednesday afternoon (June 5).

“Expectant mothers who have pre-existing plans to deliver at Chilliwack General Hospital should attend … Abbotsford Regional Hospital for their delivery,” the statement continued.

It’s unknown at this time how long the diversion will be in place, but it’s estimated to last anywhere from two to three months.

As for how many women this will affect: “We anticipate on average two deliveries per day, which can be accommodated at Abbotsford Regional Hospital,” said Tasleem Juma, senior consultant of pubic affairs for Fraser Health.

Members and stakeholders involved in pre- and postnatal patient care in the region will be meeting Thursday morning (June 6) to discuss with Fraser Health the impeding diversion, and how to mitigate the diversion’s affects for patients across the entire Valley.

Black Press Media will update this story as more information becomes available.


 

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