An Idaho hospital announced Friday it would suspend delivery services, citing a shortage of doctors and the “political climate.”
“A highly respected and talented doctor is leaving and it will be very difficult to recruit a successor,” Bonner General Health of Sandpoint said in a news release.
With Bonner General, a 25-bed hospital, expectant mothers will have to drive to a Coeur d’Alene or Spokane hospital or birthing center to give birth.
In 2022, doctors delivered 265 babies at Bonner General and fewer than 10 pediatric patients were hospitalized.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, the abortion ban has left doors open and created another challenge for rural hospitals struggling to keep their doors open and well-equipped to operate. Added.
Hospitals across the country have warned that draconian abortion laws could drain staff and doctors to other areas. According to the Associated Press, in Indiana, One of the First States to Restrict Abortion Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Indiana Hospital Association said the state was “creating an atmosphere in which it was seen as hostile to physicians.”
In Idaho, The most restrictive abortion ban in the country. In a court memorandum filed in August 2022 to uphold the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the Idaho abortion ban, the medical group said that Idaho doctors must comply with state or federal law, according to the Associated Press. He claimed that he was forced to choose whether to violate or not.
In a report last September, pew found Idaho is one of six states where authorities can prosecute medical providers who perform abortions.
“The Idaho Legislature continues to introduce and pass legislation criminalizing physicians for medical care that is nationally recognized as the standard of care. , includes civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions, which can lead to prison terms and fines,” Bonner said. General said in a news statement:
A request for further comment from CBS News to the hospital was not returned on Saturday.
General Bonner also cited the legal and political situation in Idaho, as well as the “emotional and difficult decision” to suspend labor and delivery services due to staffing shortages and demographic changes.
Since 2005, at least 190 rural hospitals have closed or changed operations. according to the numbers Edited by the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina.
“We have made every effort to avoid excluding these services,” said Ford Elsaser, managing director of Bonner General Health, in a statement. but it is now impossible to overcome our challenges.”
Rural residents often have to drive hundreds of miles to get medical care. 2019, Pew Research published a study It shows that people in rural America live an average of 10.5 miles from the nearest hospital, while people in suburbs live 5.6 miles and people in cities 4.4 miles.