To help internationally trained midwives gain employment in the province of BC, the provincial government is putting $680,000 towards the creation of a new program at UBC that will help international midwives become licenced in BC.
Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson on Wednesday announced the internationally educated midwives program will accept eight first year students per year starting in January of 2016.
According to Michelle Butler, Director of the UBC midwifery program, applicants will first be individually assessed and programs will be tailored to each student’s experience. Graduates are then required to pass the Canadian Midwifery Registration Examination before they can apply for a provincial licence.
Butler also revealed that the UBC midwifery program is in high demand. Last year there were 170 applications for 20 spots.
Before immigrating to Canada in 2006, Mitra Latifian had been practicing midwifery in Iran for 14 years. After moving to BC, Latifian studied at UBC from 2009-2010.
Latifian stated “As far as I know there is a serious shortage of local midwife’s. Sometimes the waiting list is too long, so some women have to find other ways to birth their babies. “
Midwifery services have been fully incorporated into the province's health care plan.
From 2013 to 2014, 18 percent or 8,600 babies were born with the help of BC midwives.