Palomar Medical Center Poway (Calif.), part of Escondido, Calif.-based Palomar Health, will close its labor and delivery unit in June, at least temporarily, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported March 21.
The move comes as Palomar Health shifts labor and delivery services to its Palomar Medical Center Escondido.
Palomar Health CEO Diane Hansen attributed the decision to a persistently low volume of deliveries at the Poway facility.
“We have maybe two deliveries at Poway per day, and yet we have to support nursing care and physician coverage 24/7,” Ms. Hansen told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “It just has become financially untenable.”
She also cited challenges in recruiting more obstetricians to deliver at the Poway campus.
Palomar Medical Center Poway is among the latest hospitals to close labor and delivery units amid rising costs and staff shortages. At least nine other hospitals have ended or announced plans to end maternity services this year.
At Poway, medical personnel working in the labor and delivery unit are being offered positions at Palomar Health, executives said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.