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Expecting parents rally to save Banff’s obstetric program – Metro US

Expecting parents rally to save Banff’s obstetric program

Some expectant parents in Banff are taking it upon themselves to save the mountain town’s obstetric program, scheduled to close this Friday.

“Everything’s up in the air, I’m kinda stalled,” said expectant mother Naomi Langer-Mcintosh.

A specialized nurse shortage led to a temporary closing of the program that forced moms in labour to deliver in Canmore, and that’s if the town’s only birthing room is available.

“If that room is full, my doctor has no privileges in Calgary,” said Kelly Moynihan, who is due in April, “so I’ll be on my own in an ambulance to Calgary.”

Her husband is actively recruiting nurses to fill the four empty positions so he doesn’t have to bet on road conditions when the baby comes.

“This is a small mountain community, the weather changes and there’s not another community around the corner,” he said.

Banff Mineral Spring hospital is busy with babies. Four women gave birth here this week and the town does an average of 120 births a year.

“This was driven by lack of staffing nothing to do with budget,” explained hospital director Cindy Mulherin, adding, “it is difficult to recruit and keep postings.”

The parents-to-be will protest this Saturday. They also started a Facebook group and are encouraging community members to help recruit nurses and write local officials. But hospital officials say it will take the positions being filled to turn the desicion around.

“It is temporary, we are doing everything we can to re-open the program,” said Mulherin.

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