Norfolk General Hospital will open a clinic for expectant mothers on July 18, the first step to a planned reopening of the Simcoe hospital’s shuttered labour and delivery ward this fall.
Haldimand-Norfolk residents looking to give birth have had to travel to Brantford or further afield since last September, when Norfolk General ceased offering obstetrics services due to a shortage of nurses.
The maternal unit announced on Monday will offer prenatal care three days a week, providing RhoGAM injections, weight checks, bilirubin and nonstress tests to gauge the baby’s health in the womb.
The plan, according to hospital spokesperson Aaron Gautreau, is to offer a full range of labour and delivery services by Sept. 6, if not earlier.
That would be on the shorter end of the 12-to-18-month estimate the hospital gave for the reopening of the delivery ward, where approximately 350 babies were born in 2020.
“By taking a phased approach, it will allow the hospital to ensure safe birthing services are available for residents in the communities we serve,” Gautreau said in a press release.
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator