Ellwood City hospital closing obstetrics department

MEDICAL-HEALTH

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (AP) – A community hospital in western Pennsylvania plans to close its obstetrics unit soon, citing decreasing births.

Officials with Ellwood City Hospital, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, say the facility is losing money and that it will save about $200,000 annually by closing the unit.

The hospital hasn’t decided what to do with the eight-bed unit.

Closing it will affect 11 full-time and three part-time nurses who can apply to work in other departments.

The hospital averaged 24 births a month in 2007 but so far this year has had only 14 per month. The hospital only has one obstetrician on staff.

The Ellwood City Ledger reports hospital officials plan to close the department “in the near future” but haven’t specified a date.

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