Child born between Valga and Tartu

PHOTO: Erakogu

«Positive start to the day :) We helped deliver Mia to this world in the ambulance at 6.43 a.m. – congratulations!» ambulance crew member Alo Toom posts to social media. 

«The first woman had her baby on the side of the road on Sunday because the closing of the Valga Hospital’s delivery ward meant trying to reach Tartu and failing,» a message sent to Postimees read. 

«The woman was on her way to give birth in Tartu, and because labor started while she was behind the wheel and it was not her first delivery, there was little time,» said head of the Tartu Ambulance Foundation Ago Kõrgvee. The ambulance drove to meet the woman and found her between Rõngu and Elva. They were still 32 kilometers from Tartu. 

From our perspective, it is unfortunate this thing ended up on social media,» Kõrgvee said. He added that the crew member’s conduct was unacceptable and that the person would be disciplined. «I will seriously consider whether they can stay with us,» Kõrgvee added. He said that no medical institution should divulge information like that. The man added that it does not matter whether the hospital is closed or not, whether it’s near or far. «People can go into labor at a train station or anywhere for that matter,» he added. 

The University of Tartu Clinic said that the mother and baby are doing fine. 

The delivery ward of the Valga Hospital became history on July 1. Even though there seems little hope, opponents of the move vow to fight for its reopening. Residents gave thousands of signatures against the decision to close the ward. 

The Valga Hospital delivered its last baby on June 27. 

In an address to the minister of health and labor, minister of state administration, the Riigikogu Social Affairs Committee and the clinic from three days before the ward was closed, the Valga rural municipality requested for the ward to remain open until the end of 2019, similarly to what was decided concerning Põlva Hospital, and for talks to be launched concerning cross-border medical services with Latvia. 

The hospital will keep a midwife on staff with its emergency medicine department for medical emergencies. The last head of the Valga Hospital’s delivery and gynecology department Ene Volmer said it is very difficult to deliver a baby at the ER. 

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