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AHS and Alberta midwives sign new agreement

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman (right) during a government announcement on midwife funding on December 18, 2018 (Sarah Hoffman/Alberta Association of Midwives - Facebook)

The new agreement will run from April 1, 2019 to March, 2022

The province says that there's been at least a 30% increase in the need for midwives

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A new agreement will provide increased access for midwives for Albertans.

The 3-year agreement was signed Wednesday between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Association of Midwives.

“Albertans have told us that midwifery is a preferred option for maternal and newborn care in our province,” said Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO at AHS. “We have already taken some important steps towards increasing access to midwifery care in new locations across the province. This agreement is another important step towards continuing this growth.”

The agreement will increase the number of midwives in the province.

It also includes a program to assist midwives in providing services to Indigenous and underserved populations, along with rural and remote communities.

“With this agreement in place, the maternity care landscape in Alberta has shifted and enables greater integration to better support pregnant people to freely choose where, how, and with whom they birth,” said Nicole Matheson, President of the Alberta Association of Midwives.

Last December, the Government of Alberta announced it was increasing funding for midwife services, citing a 30 per cent increase in women asking for the service.

The deal comes into effect on April 1, 2019, and lasts until March of 2022.