BRIDGTON — Obstetrical patients at Bridgton Hospital will be diverted to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for at least one more week, hospital president Peter Wright said Tuesday.

The rural hospital’s single obstetrician went on an unexpected leave earlier this month and, as required by law, the hospital notified local emergency medical services and fire departments that all obstetrical cases should go to CMMC. Though there is a nurse midwife on staff, hospitals must have an obstetrical surgeon on call for emergency cesarean sections.

The diversion has been in place since June 5, according to the hospital’s website.

“It’s not an uncommon thing for a one- or two-provider program,” Wright said, who is also president of Rumford Hospital and Central Maine Healthcare’s long-term care division. CMH is the parent organization for CMMC and Bridgton and Rumford hospitals.

Wright said that the hospital expects its obstetrician to return next week. There are no scheduled births affected by the diversion and Wright said that any unexpected deliveries would affect no more than half a dozen patients.

There were previously two obstetrical surgeons on staff at Bridgton Hospital but following a restructuring in 2018, just one was recruited. Wright said this was due to a lack of need for two obstetricians on staff, not because of funding or resources.

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