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Community rallies to save Scripps Mercy Chula Vista maternity ward

Posted at 11:09 PM, Mar 19, 2024

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — The fight to keep the maternity ward open at Chula Vista Scripps Mercy Hospital continued on Tuesday.

Doctors, nurses, and community members hosted a rally to bring attention to the issue.

An online petition to keep the maternity ward open has over 1,200 signatures.

The group marched from the mall on Broadway to the front of the hospital, and then all the way to the Chula Vista City Hall.

Scripps Health has previously said in a statement that the closure is due to a rise in emergency room visits and a demand for beds for surgery patients, consolidating its birth and postpartum services to Hillcrest. Pre and post-natal care will still be available in Chula Vista.

"We are trying to take away rights for women’s health all across this country and in addition, we’re going to take away health for women when they have their children that’s just not right," said Dr. Susanna Chou, a family medicine physician who participated in the rally.

Hospital employees were hoping to catch the attention of city leaders, speaking during public comment at the city council meeting, and asking them to step in.

"We’re not going to go down without a fight and for them to understand the perception of the doctors, the nurses, and the community," said Dr. Latisa Carson, an OBGYN at the Chula Vista hospital.

Doctors and nurses say the closing of the maternity ward would leave the most vulnerable community without proper care and force other hospitals to take on the burden of caring for all the expecting mothers in the community.

The unit could close as early as July. Since there was no agenda item at Tuesday’s city council meeting, the council only listened to the public comment, and no action was taken.