The hospital in Steinbach saw a slight increase in the number of births last year.

Southern Health is reporting there were 419 babies born in 2022 at Bethesda Regional Health Centre. By comparison, there were 415 births one year earlier.

Mona Spencer, Director of Acute Community Hospitals for Southern Health, says the story is much different in Ste. Anne. In 2021 there were 98 births at Ste. Anne Hospital. Then, in 2022 that number was cut in half, with only 49 births.

According to Spencer, one of the reasons for the drop last year is because of a physician shortage at that hospital. One of the physicians that historically did obstetrics retired in early 2022. A new physician has since joined the team and has started to do obstetrics.  

"We anticipate that the number of births in Ste. Anne will increase as she increases her practise," notes Spencer. 

When you look at historical data, the 419 babies born in Steinbach last year is the second lowest total over the last nine years, with only 2021 seeing fewer babies born. The most babies born at that hospital over the last nine years was in 2014 when there were 482 births.

As for Ste. Anne, 49 total births is by far the fewest total over the last nine years. Since 2014, the most births in one year at that hospital was in 2017 when there were 149.