Canadian Association of Midwives

Canadian Association of Midwives

April 13, 2011 09:19 ET

Canadian Association of Midwives Calls on All Federal Political Parties to Include Midwifery in Their Health Care Platforms

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 13, 2011) -The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) is calling on all political parties to fully support the regulation and expansion of sustainable, publicly funded midwifery services in all provinces and territories.

"As the national organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Canada", said Ms. Anne Wilson, CAM President, "our mission is to provide leadership and advocacy for midwifery as a regulated, publicly funded and vital part of the primary maternity care system in all provinces and territories."

Most parties are currently proposing additional funding for physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners to practice in underserved, rural and remote communities. Midwives, Canada's fastest growing group of maternity care providers, have been left off this list. This is a disappointment to Canada's midwives and midwifery consumers, given that the profession of midwifery has been regulated and funded in Canada for over 17 years. CAM strongly believes that midwives and midwifery care must be included in all federal initiatives aiming to provide new or improve existing primary maternity care services in Canadian communities, whether urban, rural or remote.

"Aboriginal communities, in particular, have been working tirelessly to bring maternity care services and midwifery back to our communities" said Carol Couchie, President of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) and member of CAM. "We need a commitment from the federal government to implement regulatory, educational and policy changes to bring birth back to our [Aboriginal] communities."

Midwifery care must be included as part of all parties' health care platforms. Midwifery care for healthy, childbearing women has the potential to reduce costs to healthcare systems, improve outcomes for mothers and babies, and improve satisfaction for women and families. Increasing midwifery services across Canada is a cost-effective and family-centered way to improve access to maternity care.

CAM urges the federal government to set up an Office of Midwifery Policy to provide a national perspective on midwifery care and contribute to the development of policies which nurture the expansion of publicly funded midwifery services. The government must ensure that all Canadian women have access to safe maternity care in community birth centers, in hospital settings or at home.

CAM looks forward to working with the federal government to ensure that midwifery care is accessible to all Canadian women and families in all regions of the country and that midwifery is included in the national health policy agenda.

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