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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Local Officials Work to Keep Hospital Maternity Services

maternity ward mother newborn baby prenatal neonatal stock

By Vince Conti

COURT HOUSE – In remarks at the Aug. 1 Middle Township Committee meeting, Mayor Timothy Donohue said the effort to retain some form of OB-GYN delivery services in the county is ongoing.  

Donohue said local officials, reacting to the announced plan for the suspension of maternity services at Cape Regional Medical Center Sept. 15, are attempting to broker a three-way discussion among Cape Regional, Shore Medical Center, and AtlantiCare for some cooperative or sharing arrangement that would continue maternity services at Cape Regional. 

“It is a matter of the numbers,” Donohue said.  

He explained that there is a national shortage of OB-GYN doctors, which is impacting the county, adding that it is also the case that too few OB-GYN doctors at Cape Regional means heavier on-call loads.  

He said that fewer physicians make maintaining the services at Cape Regional less attractive to prospective doctors, adding that it becomes easier to affiliate with a larger practice outside the county. 

The message was simple. Maternity services at the county’s only acute care center are a public policy objective, as well as a medical issue. Officials want to ensure that all avenues are explored before the expected suspension of service in mid-September. 

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