BC's midwives are calling out Premier Christy Clark and the Ministry of Health.
The Midwives Association of BC (MABC) announced on Wednesday that they have issued a 90-day notice to the BC government on July 7th that they will terminate their Master Agreement with province on Oct 7 2014.
“With the strong support of our membership we have advised the Ministry of Health that if we cannot reach a sensible agreement by October 7th, BC’s registered midwives are prepared to take further job action, which could potentially include limiting the intake of new patients,” said Ganga Jolicoeur, Executive Director of MABC.
The MABC has also withdrawn clinical education services at UBCO that they provide at no cost. Those services can include many actions outside of normal working hours such as middle-of-the-night phone calls and weekend debriefings with students.
MABC said that there needs to be improved access to maternity care and midwives are the solution but
the Ministry of Health is not cooperating.
“Many women in rural, northern and First Nations communities have difficulty accessing appropriate maternity and newborn care in their home communities, and increasing numbers of women and families must travel hundreds of kilometres to receive it,” said Jolicoeur. “While registered midwives are seeking to improve access to maternity care, the Ministry of Health is being inflexible to the point that they are asking midwives to pay from their own pockets for maternity care program improvements that the province should rightfully be funding.”
On October 7th if they have not reached a fair agreement, the registered midwives have stated that they are prepared to take further job action.