“We’re pleased to see the NDP government is providing additional funding to the previous PC government’s expansion of midwifery services,” said Dr. Richard Starke, PC Caucus Health Critic and MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster. “Midwives offer greater choices for expectant mothers, and the number of midwives in Alberta has more than doubled in the past five years.”
Starke noted that part of the reason the number of registered midwives has increased is because, under the previous PC government, the Bachelor of Midwifery program was established at Mount Royal University. He also expressed hope that the government would make permanent this year’s funding for additional births and add to it in future years.
“A recent B.C. study showed that home births attended by a midwife were safe for mother and baby – the first and most important consideration – and resulted in overall savings to the health care system of more than $2,000 per birth,” added Starke. “The Rural Health Services Review Report recommended expansion of midwifery services for rural and remote areas of the province.”
The number of Alberta families receiving care from a registered midwife has increased by eight percent in the past fiscal year. Currently, midwives attend 3.5 per cent of all deliveries in Alberta.