There was cause for celebration last week as Mount Royal University's midwifery program graduated its first eight students.

However, it turns out that almost half of the graduating class is leaving the province to find work. 

Three of the newly-graduated midwives are going to work in B.C. and one is without a job, according to the Alberta Association of Midwives.

The problem is that the provincial government has capped funding for midwives at just under 2400 births per year.

There are 900 Albertans on the wait list for a midwife. The president of the Alberta Association of Midwives, Nicole Matheson, says the association would like to see all midwives trained in Alberta employed here.  

"It's difficult at this time, however I am hopeful that we'll be able to talk to the new government and open up more access for the women of Alberta and hopefully be able to bring those midwives back," she said.

Matheson says the province should pay midwives directly — as it does doctors — in order to allow women in Alberta to choose their health-care providers. 

The association has requested a meeting with Health Minister Sarah Hoffman to discuss the issue.