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    HomeUnited StatesU.S NavyStaffing Shortages Hit Naval Hospital Okinawa, Causing Chaos for Expecting Moms

    Staffing Shortages Hit Naval Hospital Okinawa, Causing Chaos for Expecting Moms

    Staffing Shortages Hit Naval Hospital Okinawa, Causing Chaos for Expecting Moms

    Pregnant service members, spouses and dependents at Kadena Base on Okinawa, , endured an emotional roller coaster last week when they were told to for delivering their babies at a facility other than Naval Hospital Okinawa — a diversion prompted by severe staffing shortages at the medical facility.

    While the Defense Health Agency quickly responded to the announcement from the 18th Medical Group at Kadena, saying the hospital was not diverting patients and deliveries would continue, the chaotic episode marked the second time in months that the U.S. military health system in Japan has faced challenges handling staffing and patient load.

    On June 7, Air Lt. Col. Travis Russell, chief of staff at the 18th Medical Group, issued a memo notifying military beneficiaries who are scheduled to deliver a baby between August and November they would not be accepted at the Navy hospital and should choose a Japanese hospital or enter a program that would fly them to the continental U.S.

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    The “Stork Nesting” program, according to the memo, would give the unit the opportunity to provide “dedicated, safe obstetrics care for our pregnant patients in a facility that meets U.S. standards and guidelines.”

    The plan was to send expectant moms to the U.S. before 34 weeks of gestation, but travel for their “non-medical attendee” would not…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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