This District of Columbia has revoked the rights of the only hospital that serves some of the city’s poorest residents to stop delivering babies and offering newborn care.
This week, on August 7, the D.C. Department of Health ordered the United Medical Center to stop the services based on deficiencies in screening, clinical assessment and delivery protocols. The hospital has up to 90 days to meet regulations.
The hospital is located east of the Anacostia River, a part of the city that historically is woefully known for having inadequate services.
“I am incredibly concerned that residents of the East End of the District no longer have the option to have their babies delivered at an East End hospital,”
D.C. Councilmember Vince Gray, who represents Ward 7, said adding that he plans to hold a D.C. Council hearing Sept. 22 on “the state of obstetric services” at United Medical Center, saying the suspension “raises questions of health equity and the availability of inpatient birthing options for the approximately 140,000 residents living in Wards 7 and 8.”
After the announcement, one mother told local news channel Fox 5 that the nurses were rude to her, that she received medication that made her feel high and was told to go to another hospital when she asked for pain medicine to relieve an achy tooth.
The hospital has had a history of financial problems and has received tax-payer funded bail outs before; and was fined by Medicare for overbilling and leaving patients with skin infections and bed sores.
The facility is directing expectant mothers to other area hospitals including Providence Hospital, Medstar Washington Hospital Center and George Washington University Hospital.