Public servants and new MLAs from all three political parties in B.C. need to hear how important it is for you and your family to have access to midwifery care. We need to engage the political leaders of this province to ensure they are aware of the challenges midwives are facing and what they can do to help. And we need your help.
While the results of the election won’t be official until all ballots are counted and it will be several weeks before the new cabinet is sworn in, you can continue to email or call representatives from all three political parties, as well as key public servants identified here. Your experience as a midwifery client matters, and your stories about birthing in this province with midwifery services can make a difference to improving the working lives of midwives. Let’s make midwifery a critical issue for the new government and work together to build awareness around midwifery needs in B.C.
We invite you to speak from your heart. You can also work with the talking points below, either by copying them into an email or using them as prompts for a phone conversation.
Midwifery in B.C. is at a tipping point. It’s time for the government to support B.C. midwives so they can continue to support B.C. families, like ours.
Public demand for midwives continues to grow, with midwives currently involved in almost a quarter of the province’s pregnancies. In B.C., we have reached an all-time high in parents seeking midwifery care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. And that demand has only increased during COVID.
But midwives are the second lowest paid in the profession across the country. Registered midwives and family physicians provide the same primary maternity care, and yet they are excluded from provincial benefits such as health and disability, pension and parental leave. That’s on top of low pay and having to cover costs for medical supplies and office overhead out of our own pockets. This has now been made worse by the pandemic as they have received no assistance to offset costs associated with increased sanitation and physical distancing requirements, including the necessary move to virtual care.
B.C. midwives have been taken for granted and left behind. If the fundamental inequities remain unaddressed, one in three B.C. midwives say they will be forced to leave the profession or change careers. We’re in this situation because successive B.C. governments have failed to invest in midwifery.
B.C.’s next government has the opportunity to address the inequities in our healthcare system and ensure the long-term availability of midwifery services for all British Columbians.
As a midwifery client, I call on newly elected leaders and leaders in the public service to:
Ask for a virtual meeting with your MLA as soon as the next government is confirmed (expected on November 16, 2020). At that time, you can find your MLA here.)
Please also write to public servants: this is an effective strategy for raising the profile of midwifery within the Ministry of Health. Government employees and officials are responsible for developing policy and implementing provincial direction, and they are required to respond to public inquiries. Some key contacts in the Ministry of Health include:
Are you a midwife? Click here to see how you can help!