Yukon midwives association 'thrilled' by new working group

An association representing Yukon midwives says a new working group established by the government that will work to regulate the profession is an "excellent first step."

Organization says creating a timeline for delivery is secondary to regulating the profession

Midwifery is currently unregulated and not publicly funded in the Yukon.

An association representing Yukon midwives said a new working group established by the territorial government is an "excellent first step" in getting the profession regulated. 

"We're thrilled, said Kathleen Cranfield, president of the Community Midwives Association of Yukon. 

"The reality is that [government] is not going to fund an unregulated profession."

Cranfield said the association had been told during the previous sitting of the legislature that regulating midwifery was not going to be addressed until late 2016 or 2017. 

Despite the government's announcement earlier this week about the working group, an NDP opposition MLA questioned the Yukon Party's inaction yesterday in the legislature. Lois Moorcroft said the government began dialogue on midwifery in 2007, but has gone no further. 

She wants the government to commit to a timeline for the delivery of a midwife program.

Elaine Taylor, Yukon's women's directorate minister, would not commit to a timeline but said work is "underway."

Regulation important first step

The midwives association said establishing a timeline is secondary to developing the regulations.

"We are very happy to work with the current government," said Cranfield. 

She said once the working group has been formed, participants — including the midwives association — will have a better idea of when midwifery programs may be delivered in the territory. 

The Yukon is one of the few jurisdictions in the country that doesn't include midwives as part of its health care coverage.

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