GALLUP, NM – Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital announced that it is temporarily closing its labor and delivery unit on Wednesday, August 3.
The RMCH said the unit will take its last patients on July 31, so they can deliver and recover before the unit loses nursing coverage.
After August 3, officials say patients will be able to receive emergency care at Gallup Indian Medical Center, regardless of beneficiary status. This includes work. For pregnant women who are able to plan ahead, the nearest hospital with an active labor and delivery unit is an hour’s drive away in Grants.
A family physician, who currently does obstetrics at the RMCH, said the hospital helps its current patients establish care at other facilities, where they can give birth.
RMCHCS CEO Robert Whitaker said there was no timetable for the reopening of labor and delivery, and attributed the closure to a shortage of nurses and doctors.
“We understand how important this service is to our community and we are working to ensure that when we have the pieces in place to get the program up and running again, that it is in place for the long term and that we have a good program for families,” he said.
Whitaker said nurses currently working in labor and delivery will be reassigned to other departments in the hospital next week.