Impending Shutdown of Schongau Maternity Ward

The Schongau Hospital maternity ward closure has left midwives and expectant mothers grappling with concerns about birthing options and future care.

The closure of the maternity ward at Schongau Hospital in Germany has left midwives feeling abandoned and disappointed. In five weeks, the hospital's maternity ward will be shut down, leaving many expectant mothers concerned about their options for giving birth and receiving postnatal care. Midwives at Schongau Hospital believe they have been let down by the hospital management and the local government.

Since the announcement of the closure by the district administrator Andrea Jochner-Weiß and hospital managing director Thomas Lippmann, the phones at the maternity ward have been ringing non-stop. Expectant mothers who had been looking forward to giving birth with the support of the experienced Schongau midwifery team now have many questions about where they will deliver their babies, whether they will receive postnatal care, and what will happen to the antenatal and postnatal classes they had planned to attend.

The midwives at Schongau are now not only responsible for delivering babies and caring for pregnant women, but also for acting as secretaries, as they no longer have a dedicated support staff. They are left to answer the constant stream of phone calls, sometimes for up to 30 minutes at a time.

The midwives have expressed dissatisfaction with the hospital management's communication strategy. Information about the closure and its implications for expectant mothers is not readily available on the hospital's website or its Facebook page. Instead, it falls to the midwives themselves, who only received the news a few days ago, to relay this information to concerned mothers.


Despite the closure, the Schongau maternity ward will continue to provide uninterrupted care for births until the end of April. The entire team will remain available to assist with deliveries in their usual manner. Moreover, the Schongau midwives will continue to care for pregnant women and new mothers both at the hospital and at home, even after the closure. Classes will also continue, although the emotional impact of the closure has been felt by both midwives and expectant mothers alike.


The midwives at Schongau work on a freelance basis for the hospital and are not formally employed. This means that they will not receive unemployment benefits when the maternity ward closes. Frustration is mounting as it appears that neither the hospital management nor the local government has considered how to alleviate the financial burden on the dedicated team. When the issue of severance pay was raised, Lippmann and Jochner-Weiß reportedly appeared surprised.

The midwives suspect that the decision to close the maternity ward had been under consideration for some time, but no provisions were made for their financial well-being. However, there is a glimmer of hope, as the district administrator has promised to discuss the matter with the hospital's supervisory board.


The midwives remain angry about how the news of the closure was handled. Rumors had already been circulating within the hospital before the official announcement, yet the midwives themselves were only informed in the afternoon. They feel that this is no way to treat a team that has dedicated over two decades of their lives to caring for the community.


The closure of the Schongau maternity ward has left many unanswered questions and concerns for both expectant mothers and midwives. With the clock ticking, it remains to be seen how this situation will be resolved and what support will be provided to the midwives who have dedicated their lives to caring for pregnant women and their newborns.

Source: Merkur

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