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Patients, community members hold protest at birthing center in Beverly – Boston News, Weather, Sports

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BEVERLY, MASS. (WHDH) – Patients and community members lined up at the North Shore Birthing Center Thursday to protest its previously announced planned closure and more.

Previously, parent company Beth Israel Lahey Health announced their plan to close the facility on Sept. 8, citing staffing shortages.

However, on Aug. 2, after pressure from the community and elected leaders, the closure was put on pause for 90 days.

In the meantime, protesters claim the health system is not taking any action to hire new midwives or encourage current midwives to stay.

“It just doesn’t seem like they’re understanding their patients and why they chose the birth center in the first place,” said Brittany Conant. “They’re not understanding the full picture of what the birth center actually provides.”

“Nobody has been contacted, nobody has received a letter for their plan for care, so it’s just deplorable to me,” said protester Danette Siegel. “They’re abandoning these patients and it’s just sad.”

A spokesperson for the system said they are working with pregnant patients to ensure they receive equivalent healthcare while they are transferred to the hospital.

In a statement, the president of Beth Israel Lahey Health said the system is “committed to fostering a safe, high-quality maternal healthcare environment.”

“Beverly Hospital continues to work in partnership with elected officials and our local community to further discuss the complex challenges associated with safely operating the NSBC,” the statement said.

The system said during the 90-day pause, it will not be accepting new patients at the facility and pregnant patients who left prior to the announcement will not be reinstated.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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