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Obstetrical unit remains closed as Morton scrambles to find coverage –

“Steward continues to believe that the inability of Partners to provide the required pediatric hospitalist coverage at Morton Hospital could potentially place infants born at Morton in grave jeopardy, as only these physicians have the training, education and experience to resuscitate infants,” Weinstein said in the letter to the Department of Public Health dated Monday, Nov. 13.

The third party provider #8211; Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, which is owned by Partners Health Care – continues to be unable to provide the coverage, according to a letter from Dr. Joseph Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer of Steward Health Care System, Morton’s parent company.

He said the problem began in June when Partners notified Morton it could not provide consistent neonatal coverage despite being under contract to do so.

“We are disappointed that this extensive and robust outreach has not yielded interest from a party or provider group that is sufficiently qualified and willing to provide these critical services,” Weinstein told the DPH.

“This effort was unsuccessful despite Morton’s willingness to offer long-term contracts,” Bitsoli said.

Morton’s emergency department will continue to be staffed to conduct emergency deliveries – though Weinstein said he would like them to be as rare as possible because of the lack of neonatal coverage – while scheduled deliveries will continue to be referred to Good Samaritan.

In late October, Morton announced it was temporarily diverting labor and delivery patients to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton after being notified by a third party contractor it could not provide coverage for multiple upcoming shifts.

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