Whitehorse Daily Star

Selected care model to see midwives as employees of YG

A midwifery model of care has been selected for the Yukon, and is being called “a big win” by a local advocate.

By Gabrielle Plonka on February 26, 2020

A midwifery model of care has been selected for the Yukon, and is being called “a big win” by a local advocate.

Midwives will be employees of the territorial government to ensure Yukoners have access to sustainable and integrated midwifery services, the government said Monday.

Kathleen Cranfield, the president of the Community Midwifery Association, said today the model signals a positive future for midwifery in the territory.

“The Community Midwifery Association is really pleased with the step forward; it’s a big step in the right direction, but there’s lots of work still ahead of us,” Cranfield told the Star.

The first action under the approved model will be to hire a midwifery consultant to co-ordinate the planning and program implementation.

The position will be responsible for leading an implementation advisory committee made up of a wide variety of stakeholders.

The model of care will take a phased approach starting with full midwifery services being offered in Whitehorse.

The government is working with the midwifery advisory committee to review draft regulations. The final regulations are expected for 2020 and will come into force with the launch of the midwifery program.

“We are very excited to move this initiative forward so that Yukoners can have another safe option that supports healthy pregnancies, childbirth and post-natal care,” said Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost.

“By working in partnership with all health care providers, we are ensuring midwifery is integrated into Yukon’s health care system in a safe and sustainable way that provides Yukoners with access to the right care, at the right time and in the right place.”

Development of a model of care is built on extensive research, input from public engagement, the work of the midwifery advisory committee, and a recommendation received from the Canadian Association of Midwives, the government said.

“We really commend the Yukon government on their consultative process, and the objectivity that they’ve shown,” Cranfield said.

Cranfield said she expects the pending regulations to be in line with the rest of the country, and require midwives to register with a Canadian college of midwifery as well as with the territorial government.

Successive territorial governments have long faced calls for a formal midwifery care model for Yukon women.

Last month, Cranfield told the Star the Yukon is several decades behind on implementing regulated midwifery.

The territory’s current system, in which midwives work as private contractors, is prohibitively expensive.

The Community Midwifery Association has been advocating for regulated and publicly funded midwifery care.

“When that happens, it ensures that midwifery care is an option for all people and that it’s funded for all people,” Cranfield said this morning.

“I believe that’s a big win for the community … I think it’s an essential reproductive health care service in our country and it’s nice that Yukoners will benefit from that.”

The Yukon’s birth rate is approximately 400 per year – the lowest in Canada.

In 2016-17, the Yukon had 401 births, Nunavut 933 and the Northwest Territories 666.

It’s expected that the first government-employed midwives will begin delivering babies in the late summer of 2021.

“We are committed to providing regulated and funded midwifery services for Yukon families,” said Community Services Minister John Streicker.

“Draft regulations and the approved model of care both mark significant milestones.

“We look forward to working with the midwifery advisory committee, stakeholders and communities as we create a sustainable path forward for midwifery in the Yukon.”

Comments (8)

Up 12 Down 2

Rose on Mar 2, 2020 at 11:58 am

I think its gross when you take something good and try and twist it.
I don't support any of our parties but I do think having regulated midwife access is great.
As to your abortion comment. If its not your ovaries in question, butt out.

Up 6 Down 7

JC on Mar 1, 2020 at 9:37 pm

Yukoner5, Prediction: Someday soon, you will be praying for Conservative values to come back. But alas, it will be too late for change. Your great leader in Ottawa said, "Canada is a post national state, with no core values". When I was growing up, we had all those. But the UN bought his lie. Good luck Yukoner5 for what's coming. I won't be around to see the mess. Will you?

Up 9 Down 10

Yukoner5 on Feb 29, 2020 at 6:24 pm

@JC Your attitude is exactly why I hope the Yukon Party (Conservatives) and supporters like you do not gain power again for a long, long time.

Up 9 Down 1

BeerChaser on Feb 28, 2020 at 10:01 pm

Dear SheepChaser - There are very few in government who are willing to read the research and fewer still who are able to apply it in a manner consistent with the principle of fidelity. Too many people wanted to put their own spin on something rendering it completely meaningless.

You would hear them say things like, Yukonnizing the research, Yukonnizing the program... The problem however was intellectual laziness, intellectual dishonesty with the linchpin being... Drum roll... Politics... Thus, you were never able to measure anything useful other than the next government’s votes on Election Day.
It’s worse with Liberal governments because they are so whimsically volatile... Flitting impulsively from one feel good to the next feel good like a drunken bumble bee...

Up 20 Down 4

SheepChaser on Feb 28, 2020 at 2:37 am

This is an really great step to support mothers in the territory.
The only thing I question here is the new 'consultant' position. YG employees and the politicians elected to lead the government need to begin to be able to make sound decisions and policy choices based on research and judgement. This is what we pay you for. Yet, every time you all need to make a basic decision, you use our tax dollars to hire a consultant at some laughable amount of money. Having babies isn't some new confusing technology, just the most basic biological function.

Do your own darn jobs!

Up 20 Down 0

Juniper Jackson on Feb 27, 2020 at 3:07 am

I think midwives are ideal for women in good health, have had a no problem pregnancy. Midwife delivery allows a woman to stay in her home. If she has other children, she doesn't need to worry about them. Husbands and friends will help her. When I had my kids, I knew all my neighbors, who brought over casseroles, did the laundry, told me what to expect. They were invaluable to me, for my first child. Jo Bailey, who is not here anymore, had 6 kids, she practically raised me too.. She was a saint..really.. I hope having babies at home, will bring back some neighborhood closeness, community closeness. An experienced midwife knows well in advance if that mother needs to go to the hospital.

Up 14 Down 8

Max Mack on Feb 26, 2020 at 10:59 pm

"Midwives will be employees of the territorial government."

And this is why the new "model" will not work.

Up 5 Down 31

JC on Feb 26, 2020 at 4:58 pm

With all the abortions, I didn't think there would be a need to spend taxpayer money on midwifery. Just a thought from a pro-lifer.

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