Newsroom

Photo by Helga Himer

Enhanced Midwifery Regulations Proclaimed Under the Health Professions Act

December 12th, 2018
Enhanced Midwifery Regulations Proclaimed Under the Health Professions Act

  

Edmonton, AB – December 12, 2018 

Registered midwives in Alberta will soon be joining 27 other health professions in being regulated by a self-governing college under the Health Professions Act (HPA). The new regulations were proclaimed under the HPA on December 11, 2018 and will take effect on April 1, 2019. This change will impact Alberta’s 126 registered midwives who attend approximately 6% of Alberta’s births each year.

“Although midwives have been regulated in Alberta since 1998, the proclamation of these regulations under the Health Professions Act starts a new era in professional status and expanded scope of practice for midwives,” stated Cassondra Evans, President of the College of Midwives of Alberta (the regulatory body of the profession) and registered midwife.  

“As the professional body that represents midwives, the Alberta Association of Midwives (AAM) also welcomes this regulatory change,” said registered midwife and the AAM’s President Nicole Matheson. “The expanded scope will help increase access to primary care in rural, remote and underserved communities by providing quality care to families at home or as close to home as possible. It also enables registered midwives in all areas of the province to deliver an expanded repertoire of services.”

Continued Ms. Evans, “The new regulations align with other Canadian jurisdictions by allowing the College to set entry requirements, uphold our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, set continuing competency requirements, investigate complaints and impose disciplinary actions against regulated members.”

“For all midwives practicing across Alberta, having the CMA be self-governing along with midwives being able to work at a greater capacity are such exciting developments,” stated Ms. Matheson. “More importantly, Alberta’s childbearing families will receive high quality maternity care at a reduced cost and burden on our healthcare system which benefits all Albertans.”

 #          #          # 

The College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA) is the regulatory body of the Midwifery profession in Alberta. The CMA sets the Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics and competencies for Registered Midwives. For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact registrar@albertamidwives.org, or 1-403-474-3999, or Sharon Prusky at (403) 601-4071, or visit our website www.albertamidwives.org.

The Alberta Association of Midwives (AAM) is the professional body representing midwives and the practice of midwifery in the province of Alberta. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact info@alberta-midwives.ca or 1-888-316-5457 or visit our website www.alberta-midwives.ca.

Alberta Health News Release

Supplemental/Background information for HPA Transition for AB Midwives

Registered Midwives in Alberta are autonomous Primary Health Care Providers; specialists in comprehensive care, delivered around the clock, including on call care for childbearing clients and their newborns. They have specialized and comprehensive education, training, experience and attributes to conduct high quality care for childbearing families through the life transitions of pre-conceptual, pregnancy, labor and birth and care for client and baby after birth.

This legislation is aimed at improving access to maternal health services by increasing the services midwives can offer in Alberta. This change:

  • Maximizes the use of the knowledge and skills so that midwives can offer their capabilities to the fullest extent.
  • Allows Alberta Health to improve the services provided to Albertans and bring those maternity services closer to home.
  • Align the scope of practice of Alberta midwives with those of other provinces.

Registered Midwives will now be able to provide more comprehensive care for their clients when the need arises, through advanced authorization, specified in the legislation. This includes further ability to:

  • Prescribe, order and administer a broader range of Schedule 1 drugs;
  • Prescribe, order and administer benzodiazepines and narcotics (which are controlled substances) in a hospital;
  • Prescribe, order and administer oral contraceptives and contraceptive devices;
  • Insert IUDs;
  • Prescribe, dispense and administer uterotonic drugs to induce or augment labour;
  • Apply point of care ultrasound; and
  • Prescribe or administer vaccines

The College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA) is the regulatory body for Alberta’s more than 130 Registered Midwives under the HPA, including midwives in direct care, education, research and administration.

Mandate: protect the public.

Vision: inspire trust and confidence in midwifery care for all childbearing families through regulatory excellence (CMA, September 2017).

The College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA) was proclaimed on January 1, 2013, to establish the College role in registering midwives, and for continuing competence in Alberta.

The Midwifery Regulation, in accordance with the Health Professions Act was developed in 2018 to implement the Health Professions legislation, with details and structure to carry out the legislation’s (Alberta Government) intent. 

This Midwifery Regulation assures the public that they are receiving safe and ethical care from competent, qualified Registered Midwives. It defines the practice and boundaries of the midwifery profession, including the requirements for entry to practice and qualifications to continue to practice. Professional self-regulation exists to protect members of the public in situations where they are accessing a service that could pose a risk to them if it is performed improperly.

Self-regulation recognizes that a profession is in the best position to determine standards of education and practice. Self-regulation safeguards client safety by clearly determining the competencies and qualifications required by individual midwives.

A Midwife is accountable to legal (Standards of Practice), and professional (Code of Ethics) standards. A Registered Midwife’s basic duty to a client is to meet a standard of care that would be expected of a reasonable and prudent practitioner in similar circumstances.

Alberta Registered Midwives have the specialized knowledge and competencies necessary to meet the challenges of today’s maternity care; they are accountable for safe, compassionate, competent and ethical practice.

Submitted by: Sharon Prusky, Registrar, College of Midwives of Alberta

(December 11, 2018)