TORONTO, May 2, 2012 /CNW/ - As midwifery expands to meet demand, midwives are urging government to seize opportunities to strengthen midwifery care in Ontario. During a lobby day at Queen's Park today, midwives met with MPPs to discuss strategies for giving Ontarians even greater access to midwifery care.
"Midwifery is now the fastest-growing profession providing obstetrical care in Ontario, but hospital integration challenges, infrastructure deficits and the wage parity gap between midwives and comparable professions jeopardizes the ability of Ontario to retain every midwife trained in the province," says Katrina Kilroy, President of the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM). "On the heels of the largest ever graduating class of midwives this month, we are eager to work with the government to develop and implement innovative strategies that will guarantee that all women who want midwifery care can access it."
During their discussions with MPPs, midwives also encouraged the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to resume contract negations with the AOM. Midwives have been working with an expired contract since March 31, 2011, and no negotiation talks have taken place between the two parties since May 2011. "Midwives are waiting to get back to the table," says Kilroy. "A long history of inconsistent negotiations between the profession and the government has already had a negative impact on an all-female profession. Midwives are primary care providers who make invaluable contributions to the health of Ontarians, but according to an independent third-party report, our compensation has fallen behind, creating an equity gap between midwives and comparable professions."
About Midwifery in Ontario
There are more than 550 registered midwives in Ontario, serving communities in 85 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at most Ontario hospitals. Since midwifery became a regulated health profession in 1994, more than 130,000 babies have been born under midwifery care, including 30,000 births at home.
A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to women with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives provide care throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and provide care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth.
The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Ontario.
For more information about AOM, visit our website at www.aom.on.ca You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Image with caption: "Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews holds baby Holden McGoey while talking with midwife Lisa Weston, incoming president of the Association of Ontario Midwives, at a celebration of the International Day of the Midwife at Queen's Park. Midwives and parents met with MPPs to discuss opportunities regarding the growth of midwifery in the province. (CNW Group/Association of Ontario Midwives)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120502_C3475_PHOTO_EN_13026.jpg
For further information:
or to set up interviews with midwives or parents, please contact:
Joanna Zuk, Communications Manager
Office: 416-425-9974 ext. 2261