Labrador-Grenfell Health has extended Happy Valley-Goose Bay's obstetrics and medevac diversion until Jan. 23.
Citing a staff shortage, the regional health authority put the diversion in place on in mid-December, sending expectant mothers and coastal medevacs to the hospital in Labrador City.
The diversion was expected to last until Jan. 13, but in a press release Friday afternoon, the health authority said Happy Valley-Goose Bay's Labrador Health Centre "will return to normal service levels" on Jan. 23. No reason was given for the extension of the diversion.
The release said if you are an expectant mother and your due date falls within the diversion period, you will be contacted to discuss your birthing plan.
Antionette Cabot, Labrador-Grenfell Health's vice-president of clinical services, said Monday the diversion was required because of the number of registered nurses at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay facility.
"We need to be sure that we have a stable and sustainable staffing number and so that we can provide safe patient care," she said. While the number of nurses is increasing, she said, extending the diversion avoids stopping and redirecting services again until those numbers are stable.
"We have been working with the rest of the province, other health authorities with locum, with agencies, to ensure we have secured enough registered nurses. We're very close, but we don't want to stop a diversion and start again."
Friday's press release said expectant mothers whose due date falls within the extension period will be contacted to discuss their options.