SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – HSHS St. Mary’s announced that their labor and delivery floor would close at 5pm on March 9, 2023.
Representative Sue Scherer (96th district) said she and other legislators have done all they can to stop the closure. She said people forget that HSHS is a private company, and legislators can’t stop them from closing departments.
Scherer is concerned for local women who may have to travel outside the county for OB/GYN care if their insurance is not accepted by Decatur Memorial Hospital. Scherer said this is particularly dangerous when women are already in labor.
“People will have to know, ‘I have to go to DMH if I want to stay in Decatur or I’m going to just have to go in with the mindset I have to go out of town,’ which I would not like that at all,” said Scherer. “One of my daughters has that precipitous labor. So, you know, she has like 20 minutes to from contraction to birth. So that would be very nerve wracking.”
Scherer said she is concerned more women will now have to deliver their babies in local emergency rooms instead of dedicated labor and delivery spaces.
The representative did say there are positive elements to the closure. By sharpening the focus of the care they provide, Scherer said the hospital has more money to do renovations.
“They’re pouring $90 million of new money into St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur and its main focus is going to be on the emergency room, the surgery rooms and on the patient rooms,” said Scherer. “The new patient rooms are going to all have their own shower and all be updated and it’s long overdue for some of that.”
St. Mary’s hospital is still seeking approval to close their inpatient rehabilitation and inpatient behavioral health services departments.
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March 9, 2023 at 06:56PM