Government delivers confusion to Ontario midwives
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:32PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:07PM EST
In a case of 'he-said she-said,' the College of Midwives of Ontario claims it was notified about cutbacks by the government last month, while staff with the Ministry of Health says no decision has been made.
Ami Nunn is a registered midwife in Barrie and says she received a notice from the college that the province was cutting the college’s funding.
“It’s hard to feel valued within this system when we’re continuing to feel that there are cutbacks to the growth of our profession,” Nunn says.
The college said it received annual grants from the ministry for 25 years and the loss of this funding creates a "significant" budgetary shortfall and will force it to operate with a deficit until at least 2021.
In 2017-2018, the college received $799,415 from the Health Ministry, about one-third of its budget, and had requested an operational grant for the coming fiscal year of $750,553.
The college has said any cost-cutting measures would mean that midwives will have to pay higher professional fees to overcome the funding shortfall.
Members currently pay approximately $2,200 annually.
“Some midwives may not be able to afford to practice,” says Nunn.
While the Ministry of Health says nothing has been decided, the college maintains they were told about the cuts and have not received any updates since, writing in a statement, “We have not heard directly from the Ministry, and have reached out to the Minister and her staff for further clarification.”
Midwives work in about 100 communities across the province and deliver about 15 percent of babies born in Ontario, the association says.
- With files from The Canadian Press