Started 1 petition
Increase access to midwifery care
Public funding for midwives in Alberta started in 2009. In the first few years, the budget was big enough to pay all the midwives, however, each midwife had a very long wait list. Since 2009, Alberta has seen a substantial increase in its number of midwives. While there were 31 registered practicing midwives in 2009, the province now has 92 as well as 36 registered midwifery students. As exciting as this is, funding has not increased proportionately. Women all over the province are unable to access midwifery services, either due to location or fully booked midwives. Women have the right to freely choose where, how and with whom they birth. However, the current number of funded courses of care for midwives drastically restricts that right for women in Alberta. Currently only 4% of babies are delivered by midwives in Alberta - a number that would certainly increase if more midwives could work here. In BC, for example, the number sits at over 16%.Midwifery care is safe for low-risk pregnancies and births, as well as affordable and sustainable for the health care system. We ask that funding for midwives be increased, allowing for growth and for midwives to be fully integrated into the health care system as well as offering job opportunities to newly graduated midwives from Calgary’s Mount Royal University. In order to increase the number of midwives in the province and meet the demand, Alberta also needs a funded bridging program to welcome internationally trained midwives.We want the government of Alberta to provide ongoing and adequate funding for Alberta's growing number of midwives. Providing excellent funding for midwives is the best way to ensure that every woman who would like a midwife can access this safe, expert & cost-effective option for maternity care.