Expectant Cariboo moms asked to go to Prince George, Kamloops because of critical nursing shortage

If you're an expectant mother and you were planning to deliver at Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Williams Lake, you'll need to make other arrangements. 

Interior Health says due to an unexpected and critical shortage of maternity nurses, the hospital has had to temporarily suspend inpatient obstetrical services. 

In a public service announcement dated Feb. 27, Interior Health says they, alongside physicians in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House, are working to notify all expectant mothers individually of this change and help make alternative arrangements for a stay in another community, specifically naming Prince George and Kamloops. 

"Interior Health is exploring all options to reinstate this service in Williams Lake as quickly as possible and will keep local communities updated on any changes," the announcement reads. 

Nurses at the hospital provide labour, delivery, post-delivery care and nursery coverage. 

The health authority says they have seven nurses being trained in full-scope maternity care to support the hospital. Two are expected to complete their education in June and the remaining five in December of 2019. 

"As well, Interior Health is recruiting for these specialized nurses nationally and internationally," Interior Health says. "We apologize for the disruption in the lives of these families. A number of unforeseen circumstances contributed to this unexpected shortfall of these specially trained nurses at CMH."

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