Ontario midwives say they should be paid more, comparing their work to nurse practitioners and family doctors. (iStock)

Sudbury midwife Courtenay Deenie says better pay would lead to growth in the profession.

This after the Association of Ontario Midwives filed a complaint Wednesday to the Human Rights Tribunal seeking a pay increase for its members. It calls on the province to double their pay to almost $200,000 per year, close to what a family doctor makes.  

Deenie, who became a midwife last year, says more people in the profession would be motivated to get more education if they were paid at a higher rate.

Deenie says her job is comparable to higher-paying health care jobs such as nurse practitioners and family doctors. She also says women in her care have fewer medical problems and fewer admissions to hospital.

“Women are very satisfied with the care that we provide and we save the government a lot of money providing the type of pre-natal care that we do,” she said. “I think we should be fairly compensated for it.”

All but one of the province's 682 midwives are women, and the association claims its members are paying a "gender penalty." It hired a pay equity expert who suggested that with their skills and responsibilities, midwives should much more. 

“They figured out that midwives should be paid somewhere between what a nurse practitioner would make and somewhat less than a family doctor doing the same type of work that we do would make,” she said.