This NJ hospital will cease maternity care. What this means for women.

Pregnant women in Cape May County will soon have to travel even farther for maternity care.

On Sept. 15, the Cape Regional Medical Center in the Cape May Court House section of the Middle Township will cease obstetric services, hospital spokeswoman Susan Staeger said in an email.

“This development is very disappointing for everyone at Cape Town Regional Health System,” Staeger said.

Cape Regional is the county’s only hospital.

The facility had only two obstetricians/gynecologists. One is leaving for another job at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, about 20 miles away, Staeger said.

Cape Regional is working with Shore Medical Center – the closest facility – and AtlantiCare “to develop transfer agreements to quickly transition obstetric patients presenting to the emergency department at Cape Regional Medical Center,” it said. she stated.

AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center-Mainland Campus is located approximately 30 miles from Cape Regional.

Recruiting obstetricians/gynecologists has been difficult, Staeger said. She cited three reasons: few babies born at the facility (only 259 in 2021), no work schedule, and doctors have to be on call all the time.

These are “all the reasons the candidates chose other opportunities,” she said.

Yet a shortage of OB-GYNs isn’t just a problem in Cape May County.

Staeger cited a 2019 report from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which predicted “a shortage of up to 8,800 obstetricians and gynecologists (OB-GYNs) by 2020, and a shortage of up to 22,000 by 2050. “. The report added that “ACOG estimated in 2017 that half of U.S. counties lacked a single OB-GYN.”

Staeger said prenatal care for “expecting mothers continues to be available in Cape May County through CompleteCare and OB/GYN Practices affiliated with Shore Medical Center and AtlantiCare.”

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Spencer Kent can be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com.

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