OBSTETRIC OPTIONS  Nurses, physicians and a midwife recently completed a MOREob workshop in Invermere.Submitted photo

OBSTETRIC OPTIONS Nurses, physicians and a midwife recently completed a MOREob workshop in Invermere.Submitted photo

Dear Editor:

There has been an awful lot of talk recently, about the safety of delivering babies in Invermere and District Hospital. Over the years, we have watched with dismay as rural community physicians all over B.C. opt out of doing obstetrics. The community eventually loses the maternity service altogether.

Interior Health believes for any program to remain viable, it needs to be sustainable, and needs to be able to deliver a high-quality service, and there needs to be enough competent staff available to safely support the program. When it comes to delivering babies, you need a team that is passionately committed to the work they do as well. We believe that the maternity program in Invermere has all of these things.

The Society of Obstetrical Gynaecology Canada has suggested that not only are there many advantages for women to deliver their babies as close to their home community as possible, there are some disadvantages for women who travel to other communities to have their babies. The Society has laid out a clear standard of care the rural health care team and facility needs to meet to deliver babies safely in the absence of an available surgical backup. Again, in Invermere, we believe we meet that standard.

We have a passionate team of health care providers; nurses, physicians and a midwife who are committed to creating a unique rural maternity program in Invermere for low-risk pregnancies. This multidisciplinary team not only participates in training to maintain skills and certifications, they become instructors of those courses!

Interior Health has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to all of our communities to support advanced nursing practice in many areas, including perinatal and obstetrical practice. All of the nurses, and the physicians and the midwife on the maternity team in Invermere have taken these courses. One big program, the MOREob program (Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently) builds a culture of safety through the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviours, and practices that make patient safety the priority for all caregivers.

This is a three-year program commitment that the maternity team has made in Invermere. When it comes to delivering babies, we feel honoured to work in partnership with women and their families to provide quality maternity care here in Invermere.

Deborah Austin

Acute Health Service Director,

Golden and Invermere

Interior Health