Saturday, October 18, 2008

Alberta to fund midwifery care

This news release just came in: Alberta will fund midwifery care province-wide starting in April 2009. Women will be able to give birth in their preferred location: hospital, birth center, or home.

Alberta expands health care coverage to midwifery
October 16, 2008

Expectant mothers will have more choice and improved access to care

Edmonton... The Alberta government is improving access to maternity services by bringing midwives fully into the publicly funded health system. Effective April 1, 2009, expectant mothers who choose to have their babies with the assistance of a midwife will have that service covered.

“This decision will provide better access and more choice for expectant women and will relieve pressure on doctors, nurses and hospitals,” said Alberta Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert. “Expanding the use of midwifery services will also help address the pressures on family physicians and obstetricians and meet the goal of introducing new service delivery models as outlined in the Health Workforce Action Plan.”

With this change, expectant mothers will have access to innovative, publicly funded midwifery services in a variety of locations including hospitals, community birthing centers, or in their homes. Services will be accessible across the province, in accordance with midwifery guidelines.

The Alberta Health Services Board will receive $4 million for midwifery service implementation across Alberta in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The Alberta Health Services Board in conjunction with Alberta Health and Wellness and the Alberta Association of Midwives will develop and establish a structure that provides full midwifery services to all Alberta women with low-risk pregnancies. This service will emphasize various options for expectant mothers; foster collaboration between midwives, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals; and create a sustainable model for the future.


  1. I just read this news article about the same thing:
    Do you think it's as dire as Galbraith makes it out to be? Or is the situation more hopeful? I mean, having midwives covered by insurance is great. Just curious about your married-to-a-Canadian opinion. ;)

    (I get google news alerts on "homebirth" for a blog I help with.)

  2. OT..but i just got wind of this...


  3. SallyB,

    I know that some midwives-to-be in Alberta have been having an extraordinarily difficult time fulfilling all the training requirements, because there are not enough midwifery programs to accommodate all of the people becoming midwives. There is a huge amount of hoop-jumping involved, especially if you chose an alternate educational route (ie, certain approved programs in the States) and also for obtaining preceptorships, etc. I follow one blog of a midwife in training in Saskatchewan (, and it's one frustration after another for her to get all her requirements in.

  4. Ah, but a step in the right direction, anyway.


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