Falmouth Hospital announced plans to close its birthing center and in-patient pediatric services, because they determined the services were underutilized due to continuing decline of births in hospital. We oppose the closure of the Falmouth Hospital Birthing Center.
Closing the Falmouth Hospital Birthing Center and pediatric in-patient services will adversely impact the health for Falmouth’s young families and their youngest, most vulnerable members. Closure will result in infants, children, and women in labor traveling at least 45 minutes during a medical emergency to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. Closing the Falmouth Hospital Birthing Center will also deter young families, essential for a vibrant community and workforce, from moving to Falmouth. We urge the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to reject the closure.
Over the long term we favor the adoption of a single-payer government health care system with incentives of higher reimbursement rates for small and rural hospitals that maintain infrequently used essential services. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of our employer-based health insurance system – when you lose your job you lose your health insurance at the time of greatest need. We believe a single-payer government health care system will help curtail rising healthcare costs, reduce inequality in access to health care, and improve hospital finances needed to maintain underutilized essential services.
Scott Simenas, Chair Rosemary Dreger Carey, Vice-Chair