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Strathroy fights back in battle to keep babies born locally


There is growing opposition to the end of obstetrical deliveries at Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital.

A petition has been started by a local woman calling for the department to stay open.

Janet Humphrey told CTV News London, she is proud to have welcomed all her children into the world in Strathroy.

“I delivered all my babies in Strathroy. I have three daughters and they delivered most of their babies in Strathroy,” she said.

But Humphrey is upset to learn future generations will be born in London or St. Thomas.

Last month, the Middlesex Hospital Alliance announced it was ending its obstetrical delivery program for multiple reasons.

Among them, an anticipated 2024 birth rate of fewer than 60 babies, a new record, and the departure of the hospital’s only obstetrician.

Humphrey said the decision which she says comes in the wake of other cuts, is a step backward.

Stathroy Middlesex General Hospital as seen in April 2024. (Sean Irvine/CTV London)“And to lose our OB services as well. It is really going to hurt this town in the long-run.”

The hospital maintains moms and babies will receive “high quality” patient care in London and St. Thomas. It will also serve emergency delivery cases.

Still, Humphrey says it is not good enough.

“To deliver your baby in the emergency department is not the same as delivering a child in a delivery room, with OB nurses and the atmosphere you have there,” she said.

“I mean, if you have to drive to London or St. Thomas to deliver your baby, well, I know I would have had mine at the side of the road if I had to do that.”

Humphrey’s petition has been placed at numerous local business including Muggs Coffeebar and Jess & Co. Boutique.

Humphrey acknowledged it will take a lot of signatures to keep Strathroy’s name on birth certificates, but she believes the fight is winnable.

“The board will realize, the community doesn’t want these closure and maybe they’ll start listening to the community and what we want.”

CTV News London reached out to a representative with the executive office of the Middlesex Hospital Alliance for comment but we did not receive a reply by the time of publication. Top Stories

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