Person on the Street: Calais Regional Hospital OB Closure

Photo: Bruce: I don’t think they should close it. I don’t see any reason why. Are they going to pay for your travel, to go all the way down to Machias? I have a kid, had it here. It would be a pain to have to go to Machias every time you have a doctor’s appointment. The doctors are going to get paid from the state regardless. Whether or not people have money to pay for it, the doctors are still going to get paid, so I don’t see why they are closing it.


Some individuals did not wish to be identified while others did not wish to be pictured. 

Judith Kelly: That’s dangerous. You have to be a mother to realize how dangerous that is. It’s so far to go for services.

Anonymous female business worker: Just like any business, any for-profit organization, in order to survive, you always have to make cuts. Unfortunately, with only a few babies born there a month, it seems inevitable that something has to close, and that seems to be the best thing to close because so few babies are born there. My baby was born at CRH. Had I had to travel, obviously I would have done that because I would want a healthy delivery for my baby and for me. Would it be an inconvenience? Of course! However, it’s an inconvenience for me to go to specialists in Bangor and out of town, but I do that because I have to. 

Barbara Chatterton: It sucks. We’re getting to the point that we really don’t have adequate healthcare. People have to go all the way down to Machias now. Which, when you’re having a baby, you’ve got enough stress going on, and if there’s a problem, if it’s in the winter or something, that can be fatal. Maternal mortality is on the rise in America, which is shocking for an industrialized nation. As a mom, I feel that people should have a choice of where they have their babies – that’s one less choice that people will have.

Anonymous male business owner: The hospital is a business, and if it’s not producing…They lost their funding, so if they don’t have the money, the hospital would go bankrupt. I don’t agree with the closure – I just feel like if you want to grow this area you kind of need that portion of the hospital there – but you also have to make money. You can’t go broke trying to please the citizens. The reason they’re going broke is because a lot of citizens in this area don’t like using that hospital. Sometimes they’ll drive two hours to go to Bangor because they don’t feel they get the proper service… They wouldn’t want to close it if they didn’t have to. It’s all because of the horrible healthcare system.

Robin: I’m upset about it. It’s not fair. I’m never having more kids but there’s a lot of towns around here that that rely on that hospital. That’s where I’d have to go to deliver my baby. That’s where I had my daughter, 29 years ago. If they go into active labor and something’s wrong, what are they going to do?

Joe: It’s probably a bad thing. Definitely for this county. It’s a lot easier for families that live in this area that don't have to go to Machias or Bangor. It’s closer to their jobs. They don’t have to take a bunch of time off, that kind of thing. That would be bad for mine - if I had to take time off to go all the way to Machias or Bangor, that would be tough. My baby was born here in Calais - I was too.

Marcia: We think it’d be nice if they left it open. It’s a needed service. We’d like more medical help here in this area covering everything. It’s a black hole of no medical stuff.

Mike: The real shame here is that’s slowly chipping away at the functionality of the hospital. If they want to remain economically viable, they don’t have much choice but to try to make as much money as they can with what’s left of their departments. It’s pretty obvious that doctors aren’t coming here, and when they do, they don’t stay. There’s no incentive.

Tyler Niles: It’s going to make it a lot harder for people around here. It’s going to impact all the people that work there in the OB – this area’s hard enough as it is.

Courtney Ouellet: I don’t approve. I got an IUD put in because I don’t want to have a baby on the road. There will be no on-call Cesareans and it’s a 45 minute ride to Machias.

Angela: It’s sad. It’s a horrible thing because I do know people that come here. It’s a long travel to any type of OB. I go to Bangor because I lived there kept everything in Bangor when I moved up this way.

Robert Day: There’s no reason for them to shut it down. Stop spending cash on stupid rocks that they like to cut into supposed statues or whatever. Put money into the hospital itself, period.