Saturday, November 21, 2009


It appears that UBCs midwifery program is under review, and there is a risk it will be cancelled altogether! This is the last thing the province needs.
Here is a copy of a letter that was emailed to me:

Dear Members, Midwives, Students and Supporters of Midwives,

You may be aware that it has been announced that The UBC Midwifery Program is to undergo a funding review. The program has been chronically under resourced since its inception and repeated requests for adequate funding levels have been denied. The Program requires a commitment from the Ministry of Advanced Education to create a sustainable and balanced plan in order to be able to meet BC’s growing need for quality primary maternity care providers. Funding for more faculty staff is urgently required, along with adequate resources to recruit and retain those staff members. In addition the program requires funding for expansion to meet BC’s need for more midwives, especially in rural and remote areas.

The MABC will be sending a letter to the Minister of Advanced Education, Dr Moira Stilwell, outlining our position on this issue as well as a number of other key decision makers. The MABC is recommending that members and the public participate in a MLA letter writing campaign to focus on this urgent issue. Spread the word! Email, call, twitter, facebook, whatever you can do will help. The time line is short as the Legislature will be sitting from Monday November 23rd through Thursday November 26th and we hope to have this issue raised at question period during this time. We are attaching draft MLA letters that may be used as a template as well as contact information for individuals (including MLA’s and UBC leadership) that you may wish to refer to. We urge you to lend your assistance to this very important issue, as it relates to the support and future of midwifery in BC.

Thank you for all the work that you do in supporting midwifery, moms and babies.
We will update you as more information becomes available.
Please direct any questions to the MABC at
or at 604-736-5976.

MABC Board of Directors

And here is a letter you can send to your MLA if you are interested in supporting the continuation of midwifery education in BC:



November xx, 2009

Your Address here

MLA Address here

Re: Midwifery Training in British Columbia at Risk

Dear MLA,

I am writing to you for your advice and support as my MLA.

I am a _____________ in British Columbia and I am very concerned about the future of midwifery in the province. I am writing to you to ask you to look into the disturbing news that the UBC Midwifery program is under a funding review and may not be able to continue to operate. I am deeply concerned that this means mothers and babies in your constituency will not get the services that they need.

There is already a shortage of midwives in British Columbia. Currently midwives deliver over 10 percent of the births, with an emphasis on normal births in both urban and rural settings. You probably know that there is a shortage of maternity care in the province, particularly in rural and remote areas. Many of the applicants to the UBC Midwifery program are from rural and remote communities with every intention to return to practice in their communities.

A university based midwifery program is critical for us to continue to meet the growing needs of mothers and babies in our province. The UBC Midwifery program is the second oldest program of its kind in Canada, is the standard for training autonomous primary care practitioners, and plays a critical role in recruiting and training midwives in our province. I believe that this Program trains high quality, skilled professionals who are sought after to provide excellent and reputable maternity care in my community.

The demand for midwifery services far exceeds what they can provide. Since the UBC Midwifery program is the only program in Western Canada, the under-funding and potential closing of this program would seriously impact the maternity care options in the province. It is clear from the growing demand for midwifery services that reducing the supply of midwives would not fulfill the wishes of a large number of British Columbians.

I am asking for your support and I would like to speak with you to discuss the situation for the benefit of your constituents who require professional maternity care. I hope I can count on you to use your considerable influence to affect this time sensitive and concerning issue.

(include contact information)
Cc: (choose who you wish to cc)


Rachel Clear said...


Keep us posted on this, yes?

Jen said...

Asinine! It grieves me to hear that midwifery is not valued enough to allocate enough funding to keep up a program that will help provide for the demand and necessity of trained midwives! Something is very wrong. BC is not the only place. Situations like this are ubiquitous across North America and it makes me mad. I really hope the UBC program can be saved - not just to survive but with enough funding to make it a thriving and dynamic program. doesn't the province get it that increased access to midwifery will save them money!? That's aside from all the other benefits we know of, i.e. lower maternal/infant mortality rates. Hello!? When will the US & Canada wake up!? (perhaps when midwives become as powerful as huge medical associations and can compete with their lobbying and the tons of money they spend on getting legislation that keeps them in power.) The whole thing makes me sick. and mad.

Dana said...

It ticks me off like crazy too. I'm becoming such a conspiracy theorist and cynic, as I continually see more evidence that money drives practically everything, to the detriment of our health and well being. It can be so disheartening. I'm so glad for the hope I have in Jesus!