B.C. midwives' expanded role and new contract offer enhancements for patients

    VANCOUVER, May 4 /CNW/ - The Midwives Association of B.C. today announced
that the new regulations, recently approved by Health Services Minister George
Abbott, are a very positive step toward expanding the availability of
Midwifery care throughout the province.
    The new regulations authorize Midwives to deliver a broader range of
services to new and expectant mothers that include: being able to prescribe
medications for those women dealing with conditions such as bladder infections
and the use of acupuncture for non-pharmaceutical pain management to promote
healthy pregnancy and birth. It is expected that experienced BC Midwives will
begin to access approved training and certification for these advanced skills
in the fall.
    "With these changes to the Midwives' scope of practice, Midwives will
continue to provide excellent care for healthy pregnancy and birth while being
able to care for those women who have minor complications," said Shannon
Norberg, President of the Midwives Association of B.C.. "Moreover, the changes
will enable Midwives to care for a larger number of women, support expansion
into underserved areas, and keep healthy pregnancy and birth in the community.
The new regulations will help address the shortage of Maternity care providers
in B.C and enhance existing working relationships with other health care
    The MABC is also pleased to announce that there is a new BC Midwifery
Master Agreement and Fee schedule effective March 31, 2009. The new agreement
ensures that services continue to be covered, with some new enhancements. The
new MMA will be posted on the Ministry of Health and MABC websites as soon as

    About The Midwives Association of BC

    The Midwives Association of British Columbia (MABC) is the professional
body representing Midwives and the practice of Midwifery in the province of
British Columbia. There are over 130 midwives registered in BC attending
nearly 10% of the births in BC each year. BC Midwives have been regulated by
the government and publicly funded since 1998. Their services are covered for
those with a BC CareCard and no referral is necessary.

For further information:

For further information: Ms. Ganga Jolicoeur, Executive Director, MABC,
(604) 736-5976

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