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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Miami Children’s Hospital would be able to provide obstetrical services under a measure (SB 1264) that won narrow committee approval Tuesday.

The measure was approved over the objections of officials and doctors from other facilities who expressed concerns about the health of the mothers who would give birth at the hospital. They said they worry that the children’s hospital may not be equipped to care for adults, and women who have complications might die being transferred.

But an official from Miami Children’s Hospital said the best place for a baby to be born if it has congenital anomalies is a facility with the special ability to care for such children, and that particularly complicated births for mothers wouldn’t be attempted.

Miami Children’s Hospital is a trauma center, and could deal with what problems do arise, the hospital says.

The measure also ran into objections from a couple of lawmakers on the Senate Health Policy Committee who argued that it was an end-run around the state’s “certificate of need” process, that is meant to prevent hospitals from opening beds that aren’t needed and make sure they’re qualified to provide the care.

“I have not heard anybody indicate why there is such an urgent needs to do this today,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa. “We’ve got to follow the laws that we make.”

The measure passed in Health Policy 5-3. The bill may have a problem, though – it has stalled on the House side in the Health Innovation Subcommittee.

The bill was specifically drawn to allow Miami Children’s to provide obstetrical services, such as labor and delivery, without having to change its licensing to an acute-care hospital.

It would be limited to 10 beds for the service.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”



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