St. Catherine of Siena Hospital is hosting a public forum on the closure of its maternity services. The forum is slated for Thursday, from 5-8 p.m., at the Smithtown Fire Department, at 100 Elm Avenue in Smithtown.
According to St. Catherine of Siena, which is part of the Catholic Health system, as of Feb. 1, there will no longer be OB-GYN physicians that provide maternity services at the hospital.
Hospital officials said in a fact sheet that they had held “extended negotiations and best efforts to employ the OB-GYN providers at St. Catherine of Siena.” Yet because of changes within OB-GYN physician’s “private employment and contract obligations, factors which are outside of St. Catherine’s control.”
The closure comes at a time of an OB-GYN shortage, according to published reports.
The health system said that each patient’s birth plan is developed with their OB-GYN and not the hospital, and so once the physicians leave, elective births at St. Catherine of Siena will no longer occur.
However, hospital employees will remain in their current positions after Feb. 1, and officials say they would “continue to work with the state to ensure we meet appropriate regulations regarding staffing and emergency delivery coverage going forward.”
The public forum will also be held online.