WINDHAM, Conn. (WTNH) — Healthcare activists are urging Hartford HealthCare to restore labor and delivery services at Windham Hospital.
The group, Windham United to Save Our Healthcare, gathered to address state regulators’ decision to deny Hartford Healthcare’s decision to permanently close Windham Hospital’s maternity unit.
The health network has a chance to file an appeal to restore the services but has yet to do so.
“We are impatient. We have offered to work with the hospital to come up with viable solutions for labor and delivery at Windham Hospital, and yet, we have not been able to have a single conversation with Windham Hospital about the issue,” said Lynne Ide, the director of program and policy at Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.
Hartford HealthCare says after years of declining births and obstetrical recruiting challenges, it is “impossible to provide a safe, quality childbirth experience at Windham Hospital.”
“We have a plan for childbirth in the Windham area that provides high-quality, coordinated care for mothers and their babies at a hospital of the mother’s choice, including transportation,” a spokesperson for Hartford HealthCare said. “We have enhanced pre- and post-partum care at Windham Hospital and in the region. We remain committed to ensuring that the community has access to the highest-quality care.”
Back in July, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong praised the decision by the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) to deny Hartford HealthCare’s application to permanently terminate labor and delivery services at Windham Hospital.
“This is the right decision for the health and safety of mothers and babies in the Windham area,” Tong said at the time.” Asking parents to travel another 25-45 minutes to undergo a major medical procedure at a different hospital would have created an additional burden and risk.”
The OHS set a deadline of Friday, Aug. 26 for Hartford HealthCare to file an appeal.