DPH says it can’t force Morton to keep maternity unit open – Taunton Daily Gazette

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DPH says it can’t force Morton to keep maternity unit open – News – The Taunton Daily Gazette, Taunton, MA – Taunton, MA

TAUNTON — Despite intense scrutiny from the Department of Public Health, it appears Steward Health Care System has the final say regarding its decision to eliminate Morton Hospital’s maternity ward.

In a recent email to the Taunton Daily Gazette, a DPH spokesman notes that Steward’s “closure process” of an essential service — in this case Morton Hospital’s obstetrics and neonatal care program — “provides a mechanism” for DPH “to review a proposed closure or reduction in services at a hospital.”

He says he and other supporters of Morton’s obstetrics unit are now awaiting a DPH response to Steward’s most recent letter.

“They haven’t admitted anyone in at least a month,” he said.

Schildmeier said the maternity unit previously had a staff numbering at least 10.

Massachusetts Nurses Association spokesman David Schildmeier said that, for all intents and purposes, Morton’s obstetrics unit is no longer active.

April 7, 2018
April 7, 2018
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