Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Over 6,700 More Expectant Families to Access Midwifery Care in Ontario
Markham, ON – April 26, 2018
Ontario is expanding midwifery care to provide expectant families in the Markham area with more options for pregnancy, newborn health and wellness care closer to home.
Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was in Markham to announce that Markham Stouffville Hospital is receiving support to develop a new a midwife-led birth unit. The Alongside Midwifery Unit will offer labour, birth and in-hospital postpartum support for new mothers and their babies. Over the next five years, the unit will support more than 1,000 additional deliveries by allowing midwives to care for nearly twice as many families annually once the unit is fully operational.
This investment is part of a province wide expansion of midwifery care that will give expectant families more choice. These investments, which will support 6,700 more families this year, include:
- Welcoming 82 new midwifery graduates into practice this year, who will provide approximately 600 more expectant families with access to midwifery services in their communities
- Supporting – for the first time – innovative models of care that will expand choice and enhance access to midwifery services in a variety of settings, such as family doctors’ offices and community health centres, beginning in Hamilton, Delhi, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Brampton, Collingwood and Toronto, improving access to midwifery care for up to 700 more expectant families each year
- Creating three new midwifery practice groups that will provide midwifery care for 655 expectant families in Peel/Halton Hills, Midland and Milton and northwest Mississauga
- Expanding the Indigenous Midwifery Program to Elliot Lake and Toronto, to provide culturally safe pregnancy, newborn and cultural programming to 190 additional expectant Indigenous families each year.
In total, 30,000 expectant families in Ontario will have access to midwifery care this year.
Ontario’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
Listen to the audio below: