Laboring Patient Sits in Lobby

Last night I had a MediCal patient in labor. She had planned to deliver at Pleasant Valley Hospital but because there is no MediCal pediatric coverage there she had to go to St. John's Regional in Oxnard. There were available empty labor rooms at Pleasant Valley Hospital but there were none at St. John's where the nurses described the labor floor as "swamped". So, because of the failure of the hospital administration to solve this problem and, likely, in continued violation of their licensing requirements my actively laboring patient had to sit in the waiting room for nearly 2 hours until a room and bed became available. In this particular case she would have liked pain relief a lot sooner. Conincidently, I had sent an e-mail earlier that day on this issue to the administration:

Hi All, I spoke with Mike Murray and Laurie Bingham one week ago about the absence of MediCal pediatric coverage at Pleasant Valley Hospital. We had a cordial conversation where concerns on all sides were expressed. My colleagues and I would like an update on what is being done to remedy the situation and a timeline for when we can expect this issue to be resolved. Several of our patients have been inconvenienced by having to go to a hospital not of their choosing. It is also more difficult for us to travel back and forth. We believe the hospital has a legal obligation to provide MediCal patients a pediatric option and cannot turn them away from Pleasant Valley. We are happy to work with you on this but that would require the respect of being kept in the loop. I am available to discuss this at any time. On behalf of the patients we care for and their desire to deliver in their own community we hope to hear from you promptly.

Stuart Fischbein, MD
for The Woman's Place, Inc

No response so far. On behalf of our patients and the Camarillo community we will keep inquiring. SF