Lack of funding still a barrier to midwifery graduates

One of the first eight midwives to graduate from Mount Royal University is coming to Red Deer.

One of the first eight midwives to graduate from Mount Royal University is coming to Red Deer.

Four of them found jobs in Alberta, but that doesn’t mean more women will get midwifery care.

The number of courses of care, or patients, who can access a midwife is still capped at 2,374 annually through public funding from the province.

The graduate who is coming to Red Deer this summer is replacing one of the three midwives at Prairie Midwives. She is leaving for British Columbia.

“Is there demand for midwifery care in Alberta? Yes. But at this point with our current contract with the government, we don’t have adequate funds to be able to give all the new graduates jobs in Alberta,” said Nicole Matheseon, president of the Alberta Association of Midwives, on Wednesday.

Three graduates found jobs in B.C. and one is without a contract.

“A midwife is able to do 40 courses of care in a full-time practice so we have enough courses of care to give approximately 54 midwives full-time work. We have many midwives who don’t have courses of care or are not working at capacity.”

Alberta has 94 registered midwives.

Matheseon said negotiations with the province to expand midwifery care will likely begin in the fall, but a request is already in to meet with the new health minister.

“We’re hopeful that the new government will be helpful and maybe assist us in creating more opportunities for midwives even in this current fiscal year,” Matheseon said.

An estimated 900 women in Alberta are on wait lists for a midwife.

Jennifer Bindon, midwife at Prairie Midwives, which serves the Red Deer area, said 20 to 30 women a month are on the wait list in Red Deer alone.

Her agency is capped at serving 116 women per year.

“The demand is still growing so we’re hopeful that funding is going to be coming and we can start closing this gap in maternity health care,” Bindon said.

“Right now, we’re providing care to about two per cent of the women delivering in Red Deer. Our goal is 20 per cent by 2020.”

The graduate in the process of joining Prairie Midwives did her practicum with the Red Deer midwives.

“It’s nice to have a midwife coming to join us who is already well versed on how things work in Red Deer and has spent time with some of the obstetricians in Red Deer as well.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

More supports for homeless needed for Red Deer

Provincial funding recently announced for Lethbridge

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

High profile individual delays UCP vote for Red Deer-South

Nomination vote to be held early in 2019

Police back mandatory alcohol screening

New legislation taking effect on Dec. 18 allows alcohol testing of all drivers legally stopped

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read