Caitlin Thornburgh 0

Access to Obstetric Services for Rural PA Women

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Evidence shows a marked decrease in obstetricians in rural areas across the country since the 1980s, with a particularly notable decrease of approximately 50% between 1995 and 2004. Women residing in rural Pennsylvania endure excessively long travel times to reach obstetric doctor's appointments, fewer pregnancy care providers to choose from, and experience higher rates of post-partum complications and infant mortality as a result. These women deserve better access to quality, affordable care. To achieve this, we are urging rural hospitals in Pennsylvania to improve accessibility to maternal health care by funding freestanding birth centers in rural areas. These freestanding birth centers would be staffed with midwives rather than obstetricians and services would be significantly less expensive than hospital births with an obstetrician, thus saving the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services more money in the long run.

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