In a small town far from a big city, soon to be moms will have to drive an hour or more to deliver their newborns.
The Welch Community Hospital will no longer be delivering babies.
They say – “The current OB/GYN physician at Welch Hospital retired on May 31st. Welch Hospital has a part time, temporary OB/GYN doctor who works occasionally in the clinic. He does not take calls, do surgery or deliver babies. For patients needing emergent services, these hospitals in the region have OB.GYN departments: Logan Regional, Raleigh General, Princeton Community, and Bluefield Regional.”
Some say they feel this creates increased risk for new moms who will not be able to get the care they need.
“I’m a parent of two pre-me babies, they wouldn’t have made it if I had to travel that far,” said Sue Parks, McDowell resident.
Others feel there is not enough help in the healthcare field right now.
“I think its sad, it’s really really sad. There’s no where to get medical care around here of you’re pregnant as it is and they take away the only place that you could,” said Kristen Blankenship.
In order for women to deliver their babies, they will have to travel to Princeton, Bluefield or even further.
“There’s a lot of people that don’t have drives license, don’t have transportation so they’re not able to travel to bluefield or any other counties or cities to get the proper care that they need,” said Parks.
Welch Hospital plans to contract with a vendor to provide at least two OB/GYN physicians, three days a week for non-emergency services.