Riverland decides to close delivery unit

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; Riverland Medical Center&8217;s labor and delivery unit will not reopen.

A unanimous vote, Tuesday evening, from the RMC Board of Directors, decided the unit&8217;s fate.

Hospital Administrator Vernon Stevens said though no one on the board wanted to see the unit closed it was inevitable.

Email newsletter signup

Stevens said the reason the board decided not to reopen the obstetrics unit was a matter of staffing, not money.

&8220;What people have to realize is that in the United States, and in Louisiana in particular, there is a nursing shortage,&8221; Stevens said.

Stevens said the board closed the unit in June because only one full-time nurse said she was willing to work there.

&8220;The unit would need at least six full-time nurses to run efficiently,&8221; Stevens said.

Board member Larry Chauvin said though people might not like the fact the unit closed it did do some good.

&8220;Even before the unit was closed patients were referred to Natchez Regional, plus all of the nurses went there too and they (Natchez Regional Medical Center) needed them badly,&8221; Chauvin said.

In other business:

4 The board approved a motion to cancel December&8217;s monthly board meeting and hold an executive board meeting sometime during the first week in December.

4 The board approved a motion to replace the hospital&8217;s endoscopy equipment and purchase new surgery lights.

4 The group discussed the possibility of a lease purchase of a new chemistry analyzer for the laboratory.

4 The board approved a motion to appoint two new doctors to the medical staff.