Vitalité announces reopening of obstetrics unit in Bathurst, N.B.

An essential service for expectant mothers has returned to a northern New Brunswick hospital after more than three months of being shuttered.

The obstetrics unit at the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst, N.B., reopened on Monday after the service was discontinued at the end of October due to a nursing shortage, the region’s health authority announced in a press release.

“Our teams have been steadfast in their efforts to reopen the birthing services in Bathurst, despite the various obstacles encountered along the way,” said Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of Vitalité Health Network in a press release.

Lanteigne says the service has now been restructured so that a similar situation does not occur again.

The health network’s nursing orientation will now be based on “skills cross-training.”

“With the full effects of the nursing shortage being felt, we must maximize our employees’ skills by promoting the acquisition of multiple skill sets,” said Lanteigne.

The services at the hospital were closed for two weeks – Oct. 22 to 26, and Oct. 30 to Nov. 6, before it was announced that the services would be closed until further notice in November.

Specialized nurses are needed to provide labour and delivery services and as a result, expectant mothers were forced to travel to Campbellton, N.B., or Miramich, N.B., if they wanted to receive the service — trips that take more than an hour.

As Global News reported in November, the health network was asking mothers to contact the Chaleur hospital to make sure their files were transferred if they decided to receive treatment at another location.

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