Ontario pledges $28M to expand midwifery services
2019-07-08 from cbc.ca
The Ontario government has pledged $28 million to expand midwifery services throughout the province.
The announcement was made Monday in St. Jacobs by Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
"Midwives are an essential part of our public healthcare system," Elliott told reporters, adding that midwives promote best practices that lead to higher breastfeeding rates, fewer medical interventions and shorter hospital stays.
The province is also expanding midwives' scope of practice to allow them to prescribe more medications, Elliott said.
Elliott said this change will make better use of midwives' training, and reduce patient wait times for medication and therapies.
The funding will support up to 90 new midwifery graduates as they enter the field, increase access to culturally-appropriate midwifery care by expanding Indigenous midwifery programs and help midwives update the technology in their clinics, Elliott said.
Elliott said in a release the additional funding will mean more families "will be able to access quality care from a midwife during pregnancy, labour and birth, as well as six weeks of support once their baby is born."
In Waterloo region, it will mean an additional $1.2 million this year for local midwives. The announcement also included continued funding for a pilot program for midwifery care at Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team, in Toronto.
Elliott said that the $28 million announcement means the Ontario government provided $178 million for midwifery care in the province this year, which helped 35,000 families.
Janessa Otto is a registered midwife at St. Jacobs Midwives. She said in the release she hears from families that "they value and depend on our services."
She said she hoped the funding announced "will allow greater access to midwifery care in our region."
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