PEI

Midwife funding called overdue on P.E.I.

A group lobbying for midwifery on P.E.I. has started a petition to urge the province to move ahead with legislation.

A group lobbying for midwifery on P.E.I. has started a petition to urge the province to move ahead with legislation.

'It's a cost-effective service. It's something that works for women and children's health in the long term.'— Susana Rutherford, BORN

The Island is one of the last places in Canada where midwives are not funded through government and included in the health-care system.

Birth Options Research Network has been trying for years to get midwifery funded on P.E.I.

BORN has been talking with the Health Department, but recently got a letter saying government had no plans to move ahead at this time.

Susana Rutherford of BORN said most other Canadian women can choose to have a midwife deliver their baby without paying out of their own pocket. 

"It's been recognized across the country that it's a cost-effective service. It's something that works for women and children's health in the long term," said Rutherford.

Including midwives in the health-care system would be relatively simple, she said.

"We don't have to reinvent the wheel. All the research is there; the legislation models are rolled out across the country," she said.

"The Canadian Association of Midwives has offered to come here and present a model of legislation to the P.E.I. government that basically would just need to rubber stamp it."

Health Minister Doug Currie said the department has been focusing on other legislation, and isn't working on midwifery right now. But he isn't closing the door on the idea, and has invited BORN to meet with him again.

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