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Two small town hospitals will no longer deliver babies

LADYSMITH, WI (WTAQ) - We keep hearing that Wisconsin will have a severe shortage of doctors by 2030.  

Well, 2030 is now for some expectant parents, after two small town hospitals said they would no longer deliver babies.  

Rusk County Memorial Hospital in Ladysmith said 11 days ago it would stop performing routine child births in March -- forcing parents to drive about 30 miles to Rice Lake or even further.  

Over the weekend, we learned that Neillsville Memorial Hospital in Clark County would stop delivering babies on February 15th except for emergencies. Those mothers will have to go another 25 miles or so to Marshfield or Black River Falls, or 50 miles away to Eau Claire.  

About 30 infants were born at Neillsville last year, and 58 at Ladysmith.  

Four UW institutions recently announced a physician training program.  

The Medical College of Wisconsin plans satellite campuses in Green Bay next year and Wausau in 2016 to train more rural doctors for the northern two-thirds of Wisconsin.  

Back in 2011, the Wisconsin Hospital Association warned that the state would have a severe doctor shortage by 2030 unless more are trained.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)