Hereford, Texas — With small youngsters and a infant due in June, Kaylee Samulowitz has plenty on her plate, inclusive of a subject maximum expectant mothers do not have: whether or not she’ll make it to the health facility in time.
Samulowitz lives in Pampa, Texas, a rural metropolis of 17,000, in which the nearby health facility closed its exertions and shipping unit. She’ll should tour approximately an hour to an Amarillo health facility 60 miles away to supply her infant.
“We had a near name with my son, so it’s far a touch worrying considering the following one,” she instructed CBS News.
More than 2 million girls withinside the U.S. stay in counties without a get admission to to prenatal care or obstetricians, what is referred to as maternity care deserts, in keeping with the March of Dimes. Millions greater stay in regions in which scientific aid is extraordinarily limited.
Fewer than 1/2 of of rural Texas hospitals supply babies. A scarcity of nurses heightened via way of means of the COVID pandemic has been certainly considered one among the largest elements withinside the decline of maternity wards, aleven though fee is likewise an issue.
“A lot of rural hospitals have become out of handing over babies. It’s in order that expensive,” Jeff Barnhart, who runs Hereford Regional Medical Center withinside the Texas Panhandle, instructed CBS News. “They simply get to the factor in which they should make a choice on that.”
Hereford Regional Medical Center’s maternity branch is the handiest one for a few 1,six hundred rectangular miles. Barnhart stated the scientific middle has to “cross on diversion” for a part of the week due to staffing shortages, that means a lady in exertions is occasionally taken via way of means of ambulance to any other health facility approximately 50 miles away.
As her due date nears, Samulowitz is on alert.
“Even if I assume it is exertions, although it won’t be, we’re going to simply head that direction,” she stated. “Better secure than sorry.”