PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Several Native American expectant moms are scrambling to find a new last-minute birth plan after learning they won’t be able to deliver at Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC) due to a temporarily closure of their labor and delivery services which was announced on their Facebook page over the weekend.
PIMC’s spokesperson, Constance James, was able to confirm in a statement that the obstetrics unit was closing temporarily for renovations and that “patient safety is the highest priority for the Indian Health Service.”
“Over the last several years, IHS has made major strides. We have fought for and won substantial increases in funding from Congress. Over this time period, we have successfully achieved increases necessary for bolstering health services and addressing some of the biggest challenges facing our American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The IHS’s discretionary annual budget has grown by a billion dollars, from $5 billion in 2017 to $6 billion in 2020. This past year, Congress followed through on our proposals to fully fund staffing for new and replacement IHS facilities. The Phoenix Area Office has begun an active Master Planning Project which includes PIMC’s facility plan,” James mentioned in her statement. This would also mean that the temporary closures were to update the facility and improve staffing fo the clinic.