UMC to keep maternity ward closed

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WASHINGTON, DC -- Wednesday, the decision was made to close the maternity ward at United Medical Center in Southeast for good, following a 90 day temporary shutdown issued by the DC Department of Health in August.

Deja Hunter had her son at UMC, but says she’s happy the maternity ward will remain closed, saying, “I’m glad they’re closing.”

The hospital was cited for “three separate cases involving deficiencies in screening, clinical assessment and delivery protocols", forcing the DOH to restrict UMC’s license from delivering obstetric and newborn services.

It’s permeant closing will mean a greatly limited access to prenatal care for women in the area.

“It’s going to be sad because some people don’t have cars and all that stuff. Some people don’t even have money to get on the bus, but if they’re not doing right when they were Greater Southeast and now they’re not doing right at UMC, it’s time for them to shutdown.”, said Tanya Hunter.

When the temporary shutdown was put in place, Ward 7 Council member and Council Health Committee Chair, Vincent Gray said it raised questions of health equity for residents living on the East End and says he opposes the maternity ward’s permanent closure.

“The obstetrics division was closed down by the Health director on August 7th of this year and a lot of work should have been done by now to restore that very important service to the people who live especially in wards 7 and 8 and should be available to the entire city.”, said Gray.

Possible alternatives include Providence Hospital and the Washington Hospital Center.

We reached out to UMC, but have not yet heard back.