A Kitimat woman is mourning the loss of her baby amid allegations by the family that she was denied service at Kitimat General Hospital.
Theo Morrison told Black Press Media that his pregnant daughter, whose due date was Jan. 12, was having close contractions on early Thursday morning (Jan. 28), so the family brought her to the hospital anticipating that labour was near.
Morrison claims the family was refused service and told to go to Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace.
“They said there’s nothing they could do and they literally just sent her to Terrace,” which is roughly 60 kilometres away.
At Mills Memorial, his daughter delivered her stillborn baby. The family has not been told by doctors what happened to the infant.
The family said they have not filed an official complaint to the health authority as of Thursday morning.
Northern Health confirmed to Black Press Media that Kitimat’s maternity unit is fully operating, but could not speak to a particular patient case, citing privacy laws.
A spokesperson with the health authority said that hospitals do not turn people away. However, in a subsequent email they said there are a number of reasons why a patient will be directed to go to a different regional hospital, particularly if the level of care anticipated to be needed cannot be met.
“Kitimat General Hospital has the capacity to, and does perform deliveries” including C-sections, the spokesperson said.
“Mills Memorial has obstetrical and pediatric specialties, as well as neonatal nursery capability and ICU-level care capacity, if an assessment indicated any of those may required.”