Maternity unit at Saint Catherine of Siena Hospital to close Feb. 1

The maternity unit at Saint Catherine of Siena Hospital is Smithtown will close Feb. 1, according to Catholic Health.
A spokesperson for Catholic Health blamed the shut down on a shortage of doctors, writing,
“St. Catherine of Siena Hospital will not have sufficient physician staffing to provide maternity services, despite significant, good-faith efforts undertaken by the hospital to secure support.”
The spokesperson said there has not been a contract dispute with the hospital or Catholic Health. No additional information about the doctor shortage was provided.
The nearest Catholic Health hospitals with maternity units are Saint Charles in Port Jefferson and Good Samaritan in West Islip. Both are more than ten miles from Saint Catherine of Siena.
Nurses who work in the delivery room say the shut down will hurt the surrounding community.
“They’ll have to go further for healthcare, to deliver their babies,” said delivery nurse Holly Meduri.
If the closure plan is approved by New York State, Catholic Health says patients will receive continuity of care during the transition.