Photo by Kristina Nichol
Alberta Health Services has an annual budget for midwifery services and can only fund a limited number of clients for midwifery services each year. However, there are more families that desire midwifery care than what the budget can allow, and there are a number of Alberta midwives who are underemployed due to these same budgetary restrictions - this discrepancy between funding and demand is commonly referred to as the "midwifery funding crisis" in Alberta. Although funding continues to increase year over year, the number of Alberta families desiring midwifery care continues to outstrip funding, and new midwives graduating each year from Mount Royal University struggle to find adequate employment within this funding model.
We know that Albertans want access and choice in quality maternity care, and that there is an identified service gap in obstetrical and maternity care in rural and remote communities and for vulnerable and indigenous populations. We also know that the cost of health care is a concern for all Albertans. Alberta midwives can play a role in responding to these concerns and meeting the Alberta Government's objective to close the maternity care gap. That is why it is our continued mission here at the AAM to promote the growth and sustainability of midwives and midwifery services in Alberta.