Temporary changes to labour and birth services at the Upper River Valley Hospital for summer months

(WATERVILLE) – Labour and birth services will be temporarily unavailable at Horizon’s Upper River Valley Hospital (URVH) on some dates in July, August, and September. Details are posted on the temporary closures page of Horizon’s website, HorizonNB.ca.

All pregnant individuals who would normally deliver their babies at URVH will need to travel to Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECRH) in Fredericton.

“We know that being able to deliver close to home in a safe environment, and with familiar providers, is highly valued in the community, and we are committed to providing sustained labour and birth services at URVH as soon as possible,” said Margaret Melanson, Horizon’s President and CEO.

The reason for this change is due to the lack of physician coverage to provide emergency caesarian sections (C-sections).

Even if a pregnant individual feels they are low-risk and do not require a C-section, they must still travel to the DECRH for labour and birth, as pregnancy-related issues and emergency situations can quickly arise during childbirth.

All individuals who are 35 weeks pregnant and over have been contacted by nursing staff.

“We are committed to ensuring all pregnant New Brunswickers have access to safe and quality care,” said Dr. Martha Mills, Chief of Staff, Fredericton and Upper River Valley area. “We are working to ensure that labour and birth services will be fully restored as quickly as possible.”

Horizon will continue to work proactively with care providers to ensure appropriate coverage when temporary changes to service arise. Horizon understands these changes may be concerning to families that are expecting. Please be assured that all pregnant individuals and their babies will receive safe and quality care at any Horizon facility.

Horizon continues to prioritize recruitment efforts to mitigate these temporary changes and will continue to provide updates as soon as they become available.

Horizon recognizes the value of labour and birth services at the URVH for staff, physicians, patients, families, and the community, and recently conducted a community engagement process to inform future planning and decision making. You can read the report on Let’s Talk Horizon.

The obstetrical service at URVH serves up to 500 patients a year and supported 206 births and 40 emergency C-sections in 2023.


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Kris McDavid
Media Relations