- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s health agency has given conditional approval to the transfer of obstetrics services from Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket to two affiliated hospitals.

The decision Friday from the Department of Health will take effect on Aug. 1 and follows a series of public meetings.

The obstetrics unit at Memorial Hospital will close and the services moved to Kent Hospital in Warwick and Women & Infants Hospital in Providence. All three hospitals are operated by Care New England, a health system which the state says has grown increasingly unstable financially in recent years.

Care New England must provide transportation for patients to other hospitals for at least nine month after the transfer, and must also try to replicate what state officials called Memorial Hospital’s “unique, alternative birthing experience” at another facility.

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