United Medical Center's board votes to not renew license for obstetric and newborn services

The obstetrics unit at United Medical Center in Washington D.C. is being shut down after the hospital's board voted to not renew its restricted license.

This development comes after the hospital's license was suspended for 90 days after the D.C. Department of Health said there were deficiencies in patient care.

Those on the hospital's board claim many mothers had heard of the obstetrics unit's poor reputation for years and had already chosen to seek medical care at other hospitals and health care facilities. They also recognized they did not have the staff to provide quality prenatal care to expectant mothers. These were some of the factors that influenced the decision not to extend their restricted license.

"We have not been the best provider of quality care for people and that is one of the main focuses here - changing that dynamic, making sure that we do what we can to build the trust of the people that we are privileged to serve," said United Medical Center Board Chair LaRuby May.

However, some city leaders like Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray said this was supposed to be an opportunity to rebuild the obstetrics unit with a new operator and model for patient care. He is disappointed with the board's executive decision.

"This just simply adds to people feeling like they are not treated with the respect that they should be treated with, that there is not a commitment to having equitable health care on the east end of the city, and it leaves people with the feeling that they are not cared about," said Gray.

The board said it will cost them millions of dollars to have a quality obstetrics unit. However, we are told this does not mean they will never open another obstetrics unit again at the hospital, but the unit is officially shut down as of right now.

According to the board, staff members were prepared of this decision and was not a surprise to them.