MLA for Chilliwack-Kent Laurie Throness released a statement saying he and Chilliwack MLA John Martin have been in communication with hospital officials and a solution is possible for the city’s obstetrician shortage. (Black Press file photo)

Chilliwack MLAs say Fraser Health working toward solving obstetrician shortage

Shortage means expectant mothers in Chilliwack-Kent won’t be delivering in Chilliwack hospital

Chilliwack’s two MLAs, and the District of Kent, have now weighed in on the obstetrician shortage issue.

Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent, posted a photo of a press release on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon, outlining meetings that have taken place to deal with the impending shortage.

For about four weeks, beginning on June 24, expectant mothers in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope will be diverted to Abbotsford Regional Hospital and possibly beyond.

Throness says he and Chilliwack MLA John Martin have had discussions with Petra Pardy, the head of Chilliwack General Hospital, along with Lorraine Jenkins, the executive director of Maternal Child and Youth for Fraser Health, as well as Victoria Lee, the CEO of Fraser Health.

“We have let the FHA leadership know that our community expects service equal to that of any other Lower Mainland community, and were informed that officials have been working to mitigate the situation,” Throness is quoted as saying in the press release.

The release also states that the closure may be reduced in time.

“There is a call out for ‘locums’ province-wide, and a permanent position for a new obstetrician for Chilliwack has been posted,” it reads.

However, a search through publicly-viewable job postings for physicians in Fraser Health shows no openings for obstetricians.

The District of Kent council has also expressed concern about the situation, with their families being even further from Abbotsford’s hospital. They voted this week to send a letter to the health authority outlining their concerns.

READ MORE: Chilliwack maternity diversion a ‘disservice,’ Kent council says


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

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