Idaho hospital to stop labor and delivery services citing

An Idaho hospital will discontinue labor and delivery services, citing physician shortages and the “political climate,” the hospital announced Friday.

“Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. It will be exceptionally difficult to recruit replacements,” Bonner General Health, based in the city of Sandpoint, said in a news release.

Pregnant women who used Bonner General, a 25-bed hospital, will now have to go to hospitals or birth centers in Coeur d’Alene or Spokane to give birth.

In 2022, doctors delivered 265 babies at Bonner General and admitted fewer than 10 pediatric patients, the hospital said.

Roe v. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Wade, the abortion ban has added another challenge to rural hospitals that have struggled to keep their doors open and their facilities fully staffed and running. .

Across the country, hospitals are sounding the alarm that tougher abortion laws threaten to lose staff or doctors to other areas. In Indiana, according to the Associated Press One of the first states to restrict abortion After the Supreme Court’s decision, the Indiana Hospital Association said the state was “creating an environment that will be perceived as hostile to physicians.”

is one of Idaho Most restrictions on abortion in the country. According to the Associated Press, in a court brief filed in August 2022 in support of the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Idaho’s abortion ban, medical groups argued that Idaho physicians are forced to make that choice. That they break state or federal law.

In a report last September Got a drink. that Idaho was one of six states where officials could prosecute health care providers for performing abortions;

“The Idaho Legislature continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for providing medical care that is nationally recognized as the standard of care. Idaho physicians who provide the standard of care. Consequences could include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, which could result in jail time or fines,” Bonner. The General said in his press statement.

CBS News’ requests to the hospital for further comment were not returned Saturday.

In addition to Idaho’s legal and political climate, Bonner General also cited the “emotional and difficult decision” to discontinue labor and delivery services due to staff shortages and demographic changes.

Since 2005, at least 190 rural hospitals have closed or changed operations. According to the numbers Compiled by the Cecil G. Shepps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina.

“We have made every effort to avoid eliminating these services,” Ford Elsesser, Bonner General Health’s board president, said in a statement. “We had hoped for concessions, but now our challenges are insurmountable.”

Often those living in rural areas are left to travel hundreds of miles to access health care. In 2019, Pew Research published a study It shows that rural Americans live an average of 10.5 miles from the nearest hospital, compared with 5.6 miles for people in suburban areas, and 4.4 miles for those living in urban areas.

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