RIH expands midwifery services amid ongoing maternity crisis

More prenatal care at RIH

Royal Inland Hospital has opened a new midwifery clinic, allowing pregnant patients without doctors or midwives in the Kamloops area to receive ongoing care before birth.

The Midwifery Antenatal Care Clinic receives referrals from family doctors, nurse practitioners, midwives and the Kamloops Urgent Primary Care and Learning Centre.

Patients who have had their initial appointments at the UPCLC are automatically added to the referral list.

A member of the care team will reach out to all patients on the referral list by June 19 via phone to book appointments.

Appointment dates will be based on due dates and other specific needs, with instructions being given directly to patients during the calls.

The new Midwifery Antenatal Care Clinic can be reached at 250-314-2782.

Interior Health also encourages patients to connect with Healthy from the Start for additional support and information at 1-855-868-7710.

Recently, the Thompson Regional Family Obstetrics clinic, which previously delivered approximately 60 of the 100 babies born each month at Royal Inland Hospital, stopped accepting new patients due to a shortage of doctors.

The clinic had become increasingly busy in recent years as the city’s primary care crisis has been exacerbated by physician retirements and walk-in clinic closures.

The crisis has forced some pregnant women to travel for hours to nearby communities to receive prenatal care.

According to Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, who called the crisis “unacceptable,” some Kamloops women drive as far Prince George or Abbotsford to receive prenatal care.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, who was in Kamloops recently to announce progress on building a new cancer care centre at RIH, has repeatedly said that the ministry is working with doctors and Interior Health to come up with a solution.

“In part, it’s a payment model issue, and we’re working closely with the doctors to see that that's resolved, and make sure that people get the care that they need,” said Dix.

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