March 6, 2019
EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Association of Midwives (AAM) have reached a three-year agreement that will continue to increase access to midwifery services for Albertans, including those living in small urban, rural and Indigenous communities.
The renewed agreement, which will be in effect until March 31, 2022, aims to increase both the number of midwifery-assisted births and the number of midwives in the province. It also includes a program to assist midwives providing services to Indigenous and underserved populations, and in rural and remote communities.
“Albertans have told us that midwifery is a preferred option for maternal and newborn care in our province,” says Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS President and CEO. “We have already taken some important steps towards increasing access to midwifery care in new locations across the province. This agreement is another important step towards continuing this growth.”
Midwives in Alberta provide the full scope of maternal and newborn care, from prenatal, to labour and delivery, and through the post-partum period.
“I have been so proud to work with the Alberta Association of Midwives since 2015. Together, we’ve increased the access to midwifery care every year in a sustainable and patient-centred way,” says Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. “There is more to do to ensure that women can access choice in their maternal care and we will continue working to provide them that choice.”
Midwives’ scope of practice will expand under the Health Professions Act on April 1, 2019. The negotiations between AHS and AAM will re-open for the final year of the agreement to review compensation for the services provided.
“We are pleased that this agreement benefits even more pregnant people,” says Nicole Matheson, President of the Alberta Association of Midwives. “With this agreement in place, the maternity care landscape in Alberta has shifted and enables greater integration to better support pregnant people to freely choose where, how, and with whom they birth.”
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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