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For the second time in a month, expectant mothers are being diverted from Peace Arch Hospital to Langley Memorial Hospital

For the second time in a month, maternity cases are being diverted from Peace Arch Hospital (PAH) to Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH).

Starting July 30, 2021 for about 10 days, Peace Arch will be diverting all of their maternity patients to Langley Hospital.

The decision follows a previous July 2 announcement by the health authority sending maternity patients to LMH instead of PAH from July 8-19 for labour and delivery services.

READ ALSO: Peace Arch Hospital to divert maternity patients to Langley Memorial

At the time, the measure was said to be “in response to a temporary gap in pediatrician coverage.”

Dr. Michael Smith, the health authority’s regional medical director of child and youth programs, explained the gap was because PAH doesn’t have a pediatric unit, which makes it hard to attract pediatricians to work there.

“Peace Arch suffers, really, by being a very small hospital,” Smith commented.

“It’s a challenge to recruit pediatricians to work where… they don’t have the sort of broad professional work that many other hospitals have. Most pediatricians like to be busy and they do newborn work, but they also like to do, as we’re all trained to do, pediatric work.”

READ ALSO: Peace Arch Hospital maternity diversion ‘not ideal’ for couple awaiting birth of first child

In 2014, LMH opened the $11.66 million Vandekerkhove Family Maternity Centre and clinic in a newly-built third storey.

Among other things, it includes seven new single maternity care rooms, so new mothers can stay in one room for a continuum of care.

There is also a new isolation room.

READ ALSO: New maternity unit and clinic opens at Langley Memorial Hospital

It takes its name from the Vandekerkhove family, who contributed $1 million to the campaign.

The Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation was instrumental in raising more than $4 million from their “It All Starts Here” maternity expansion campaign.

Fraser Health committed more than $6 million to the new unit.

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Dan Ferguson

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