Mothers-to-be in Leamington will have to seek hospital care out of town as of March 31.

At a meeting Wednesday night, the board which oversees the operation of Leamington District Memorial Hospital announced the closure of its obstetrics department.

LDMH CEO Terry Shields says it was a financial decision as a result of funding formulas. 

"The local residents from Leamington, Kingsville, Wheatley and Essex who have traditionally given birth here will now possibly be given birth at Windsor Regional Hospital," she says.

Shields say 50 per cent of mothers in Leamington and 84 per cent in Kingsville are already choosing to have their babies in Windsor. Without obstetrics, LDMH expects to save $1.4 million a year in operating cost.

“I feel really… I guess angry about it,” says mother of four, Lee-Ann Dueck.

After the closure, LDMH is expected to provide pre-and-post natal care for local patients working alongside WRH.

Shields says the realignment of services and funding will focus on its core role of providing 24-hour emergency services, internal medicine, patient surgery and restorative care, with an emphasis on the aging demographic.  

The proposal now goes before the board of the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, which is expected to vote on it by the end of November.

LDMH will conduct public forums to discuss the changes of hospital services on Oct. 29.