Windsor's high risk pregnancy clinic to be discontinued in November
Windsor Regional Hospital is announcing it will not be continuing its hospital based Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic after Nov. 1, 2019.
In addition, as of Nov. 1, the hospital will be discontinuing its unfunded stipend and other payments to the physician who operates the clinic.
A Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist is an obstetrician-gynecologist who provides care or consultation for both mother and fetus in the complicated pregnancy.
As a Level 2c Maternal Program, WRH has been the only such hospital funding and operating such a clinic and paying a stipend to the physician in a hospital setting in addition to his OHIP billings received from the government.
This is after an independent review indicated the internal funding of both the clinic and the physician’s stipend and other payments is unsustainable given the Level 2c program operated at WRH.
Officials say the physician’s privileges to practice medicine at WRH are unaffected. He can continue to practice at WRH however, without the unfunded stipend and other payments made to him. The physician has not identified his future intentions to the hospital.
Both the stipend and clinic cost the hospital in excess of $460,000 a year to fund without independent funding.
Officials say the lack of independent funding is historical and is not as a result of any funding changes made by the current government.
The decision of the Board of Directors to end the unfunded physician’s stipend and discontinue the clinic was reaffirmed by the OBGYN professional staff as a whole on June 17.
The OBGYN professional staff team and administrative clinical team will work together to ensure a seamless transition occurs.
Dr. Greg Hasen, the Chief of OBGYN at WRH, states “the provision of service as a Level 2c Maternal Newborn Program will continue at Windsor Regional Hospital.”
“We will continue to pursue a Level 3 program, but the move to Level 3 will most likely no occur until we move to a new state of the art acute care hospital," adds Dr. Hasen.
Dr. Gary Ing, Chief of Staff says “as clinical care has evolved in this area we have an outstanding group of OBGYN physicians and midwives that will continue to care for high risk pregnancies locally and/or rely on the Level 3 centre in London for their care, if needed, as happens currently”.
For the various levels of programs across Ontario go to https://www.pcmch.on.ca/wp.