Renewed efforts help preserve maternity unit at Peace Arch Hospital

Significant new scheduling commitments from the pediatric group at Peace Arch Hospital and commitments from other provider partners, ensure that expectant individuals who have pre-existing plans to deliver their babies at the hospital will be able to see those plans through with only sporadic single-day diversions and only when necessary.

Previously, challenges owing to a gap in pediatric coverage at Peace Arch Hospital – and its impact on the commitment to provide the best and safest care for patients and their babies — necessitated the announced extended diversion to Langley Memorial Hospital for deliveries.

All partners are committed to working towards safe maternity services at Peace Arch Hospital with no disruption while Fraser Health continues its recruitment efforts. We acknowledge all of our partners for their continued support for maternity and pediatric services at Peace Arch Hospital.

The maternity unit at Peace Arch Hospital is fully funded and will remain fully funded.

As well, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, we have been able to implement an alternative payment model to support pediatric recruitment. We have also expanded our services to support a Pediatric Rapid Access Clinic at Peace Arch Hospital. These actions underscore and reaffirm our commitment to maternity and pediatric services at Peace Arch Hospital. Recruitment is a challenge, and for this reason is a priority, and we will provide regular updates on progress.

‘We’re terrified’: Pregnant patients, healthcare providers oppose Peace Arch maternity closure 

A stressed out mother, weeks away from her due date, says she’s has no maternity ward to turn to in case of emergency. The unit at Peace Arch Hospital is scheduled to close Jan. 28. Crystal Laderas on why the move is raising alarm.

Ten weeks away from her due date, Savannah Walsh has no idea where she’ll go if she requires urgent care while giving birth now that Peace Arch Hospital’s maternity ward is closing indefinitely.

Fraser Health announced Friday the ward will close Jan. 28 because an “unexpected leave” means there will not be pediatricians available to support patients. Calling it an “extended diversion,” the health authority says patients will be sent to Langley Memorial Hospital until a vacant position is full.

“Fraser Health implemented this extended diversion to ensure we are able to provide the best and safest care for our patients,” a statement issued Friday said.

‘We’re not being listened to’

Another layer of stress’: Expecting mom on Peace Arch Hospital maternity ward closure

Anger is growing over a decision to close the maternity ward at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock. The ward is set to close January 28 due to a shortage of pediatricians, forcing expectant mothers to other nearby hospitals to deliver their babies.

An expecting mother in B.C. said she’s disappointed and anxious after learning the hospital where she planned to give birth has closed its maternity ward indefinitely.

Sandra Morse’s first child, a boy, is due at the beginning of March and her carefully-prepared birth plan included labouring at her parents’ house and delivering at the Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.

“The maternity ward people were so kind and caring and it’s such a peaceful and calm environment,” she said. “It’s very disappointing that I’m not going to be having my baby there.”

Physicians’ rep takes Fraser Health to task over Peace Arch Hospital maternity closure

Dr. Rogan Thavarajah said the closure will be permanent

The White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice is calling out Fraser Health, saying it has created an unsafe situation for expectant mothers on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

Further, board chairman Dr. Rogan Thavarajah said, the temporary closure of the Peace Arch Hospital maternity ward will, in fact, be permanent.

Fraser Health announced in a Jan. 14 news release that PAH’s maternity ward is to close for three months, beginning Friday, Jan. 28. The health authority cited a shortage of pediatricians as the primary reason for the decision.

Fraser Health declined an interview request by Peace Arch News, and instead said further inquiries are to go through the Ministry of Health.

Typically working in the background in collaboration with Fraser Health, it’s considered out of character for the White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice to contact media about an issue created by the health authority.

“We don’t do media releases and this kind of thing,” Thavarajah said. “The fact that we’re even doing this speaks to the depth of our serious concerns about this.”

Peace Arch Hospital protests planned over maternity ‘diversion’

¸South Surrey-White Rock moms’ group fears closure of unit may not be temporary

Members of an ad-hoc White Rock and South Surrey community group said they are planning two protests this week of the impending temporary closure of the Peace Arch Hospital’s maternity unit.

Organizer Bev Bell told Peace Arch News that protesters will gather in front of the hospital on 16 Avenue on Thursday, Jan. 20 as well on Saturday, Jan. 22. The protests are planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Bell, a retired nurse who said she has lived in the community since 1989, said she shares other group members’ “outrage over this decision.”

“This is essentially a South Surrey-White Rock group of concerned moms who have had babies in the community and want to continue having babies in the community,” she said, adding that an Instagram petition created by the group has already gathered in excess of 1000 names.

In a press release issued last Friday Fraser Health described the measure – which will send maternity patients with pre-existing plans to deliver at Peace Arch to Langley Memorial Hospital – as an “extended diversion” in response to a lack of pediatricians at the hospital.

“While temporary diversions are part of our regular operating procedure, Fraser Health works diligently to avoid implementing diversions in our hospitals whenever possible,” the release stated.

“When we are unable to fill gaps in physician availability or other non-medical staff, we reluctantly implement temporary diversions to ensure the safety of our patients.”

On The Coast with Gloria Macarenko: Peace Arch Hospital closing its maternity ward

Fraser Health released a statement that the maternity ward at Peace Arch Hospital will be closing indefinitely due to an “unexpected leave” at the facility. Dr. Rogan Thavararajah, the board chair of the White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice on the impact this will have on the community.

Concerns grow as Fraser Health moves to close Peace Arch Hospital maternity ward, indefinitely

Effective Friday, Jan. 28, maternity patients will be diverted to Langley Memorial Hospital

The head of Peace Arch Hospital’s maternity clinic in White Rock, B.C., says indefinitely closing the unit will create more challenges recruiting pediatricians and will have a negative impact on patient care.

On Friday, Fraser Health released a written statement saying that the hospital will close its maternity ward due to what it says is an “unexpected leave” at the facility until it “successfully recruits a full complement of pediatricians to support maternity patients.”

It is asking expectant individuals who have pre-existing plans to give birth at Peace Arch Hospital to attend Langley Memorial Hospital for their deliveries, starting Friday, Jan. 28.

Dr. Semion Strovski, the head of the Peace Arch maternity clinic, says doctors, nurses and midwives are all disappointed and concerned.

“It’s still going to endanger pregnant patients,” Strovski told CBC’s The Early Edition. “Patients not only will not be able to be delivered by their care providers, with whom they have a relationship, but they also have to drive at least 30 minutes to a different facility.”

Peace Arch Hospital Foundation’s Maternity Update

Fraser Health has informed us that they plan to temporarily shut down Peace Arch Hospital’s maternity unit on January 28, 2022, in response to the challenges of securing pediatricians for the hospital. This has been an ongoing issue for several years with diversions taking place throughout 2021. This is not what our Foundation, our donors, or our patients expect or deserve.

Fraser Health has assured us that this shut down is temporary, lasting a few months at the most, while they secure enough pediatricians for Peace Arch Hospital. We have emphasized to Fraser Health our financial commitment, in any way possible, to remedying this unfortunate situation for our community. Maternity care has long been a priority for the Foundation and that remains unchanged. We will continue to work closely with Fraser Health to find a permanent solution to this issue.