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Las Vegas health care professionals weigh in on Mesquite hospital closing labor and delivery unit

Posted at 3:18 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 07:17:31-04

UPDATE: Las Vegas family physician Dr. Dahlia Wachs weighed in on the news of a Mesquite hospital discontinuing its labor and delivery unit. 

 "It's tragic because Mesquite is a growing city. That forces these people to either go 40 miles to Saint George, Utah, or 80 miles to Las Vegas. And when you are in labor or have an unexpected delivery that's too long," said Wachs. 

Dr. Wachs also said it could be a major insurance hassle. 

"Well, if the insurance company doesn't want to work with Utah or doesn't cross state lines then these people can't have an out of state provider, Then that insurance company can't insure them."

Access isn't just important for these expectant moms. It's important to insurance companies too. 

"Insurance companies they need to know that their insured will have access to ER, access to pain facilities, primary care doctors," Dr. Wachs said.

Todd Sklamberg, CEO of Sunrise Hospital, said it delivers 4500 babies a year and often their mothers come from around the state. 

"So we have the capability to take care of the medical needs as well as the facilities they need when they are out of town here in Las Vegas," Sklamberg said. 

PREVIOUS STORY: The hospital in Mesquite has discontinued its labor and delivery unit.

Mesa View Regional Hospital discontinued elective obstetrics services Oct. 1. Mothers will now have to travel 40 miles to St. George, Utah, or 82 miles to Las Vegas. This also affects mothers in other small Clark County cities, including Overton and Moapa Valley. 

Mesa View hospital said in a statement that the hospital only delivered 68 babies in the last year -- a 74 percent decease in the last decade. The hospital is now delivering approximately one baby every six days. 

According to the hospital, the current patient volume does not support the requirements from the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology and other licensing organizations for maintaining skill levels for clinicians and staff.

Mesa View also said that maintaining the obstetrics service with a declining demand draws away from other hospital services, including primary care, emergency and cardiac services. 

The hospital said that the discontinuation of elective obstetrics services allows Mesa View to provide additional primary care, orthopedic care and cardio/pulmonary services.