Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Midwifery in Alberta need YOUR help!!

Ok-I am ABSOLUTELY FED UP with healthcare in Alberta!! It is an absolutely crappy system, that much talk has been made about, and very little action taken (case in point-my grandpa was just taken by ambulance to the hospital yesterday, where he waited for 5 fricken hours to be seen!!) Come on, people. Let me reiterate-BY AMBULANCE!! Oh yeah-this is the same hospital where they CLOSED SHARED CARE MATERNITY in, one of the most wonderful maternity programs EVER-why? Supposedly to remedy the emergency shortage. Um hmm...

Well, here's another attack on expectant mothers and families in Alberta, from our wonderful government-they are randomly approving and denying midwifery graduates of MCU (Midwifery College of Utah) the right to practice in Alberta. Claire Vessaire of Birth Issues has explained it much better than I in this letter she sent out, which will be copied and pasted below. The bottom line is:
Alberta needs more midwives! Even more so than ever, with the HUGE loss to women and babies and FAMILIES of the Stony Plain Westview Health center birthing rooms. And this political jerking around of midwifery students is absolute GARBAGE!! I would appreciate it if as many of my friends who can, would please help me show support for these 5 midwives. Even if you aren't having any more babies, or have other preferences for birth-someone in your life (sister, friend, daughter) may wish for the services of a midwife, and not have them available. My sincere thanks in advance!!

Dear Midwifery Supporters:
I am writing to you today to ask for your support. It will take 5 minutes of your time. There are five graduate midwives in Alberta, four of whom reside in Edmonton and one who lives in Cardston who need your help. These five midwives have been denied registration to work as a midwife in Alberta by the Midwifery Health Disciplines Committee (MHDC). They have made an appeal of this decision to the Health Disciplines Board. This appeal will take place on Thursday, October 20th at 9:15am at 100025 Jasper Avenue in Edmonton. Background information: Midwifery education in Canada has been a troubling issue for many years. It has taken over 20 years for each province to legislate and fund midwifery under provincial health care and there still remain some provinces and territories with no midwifery legislation. Currently, there are only five provinces with midwifery education programs, many of which have less than 10 graduates per year. As you may know, Alberta has only just started their midwifery education program at Mount Royal University this September (2011), with an intake of a mere 14 students. This has led many women seeking an education in midwifery to go outside their province or country. The Alberta Association of Midwives had 21 student members as of early 2011. Twenty of these students are internationally trained, mostly in the US. The Midwives College of Utah (MCU) is a US based midwifery education program offered by distance. MCU has had 32 Canadian students enrolled in their programs in the last year. Some of these students have graduated and successfully registered as midwives in their own provinces. Others have quit due to the unknown route to registration once graduated.

There have been 13 Alberta graduates of MCU in the last 20 months. Seven of these graduates have been granted registration by the MHDC. Six of them have been denied, solely based on the education program from which they graduated. This is arbitrary and unfair.

I am asking you to write a letter of support to the Health Disciplines Board for these five midwifery graduates who are involved in this appeal. The appeal is not a public affair but the legal council for the graduates has asked for written submissions to support their case. Below you will find a FORM LETTER that you can copy-date-sign and email to the Midwifery Students' Association of Alberta at msaalberta@gmail.com. Be sure to include your full name, address, and contact information in your letter, otherwise it may not be valid. It is also very effective to write your own letter telling your personal story. Why do you support midwifery and why do we need more midwives in Alberta? You can send this to the same email address listed above.
You can find more information at http://sites.google.com/site/graduatemidwives/home
Finally, become a fan of our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Your-Graduate-Midwives/257100264331097?skip_nax_wizard=true

Please send your letter in no later than Monday, October 10th.


***FORM LETTER*******************************************************************
[Your Full Name]
City, Province, Postal Code
Phone number
October 4, 2011
Alberta Health Disciplines Board
Alberta Health and Wellness
17th Floor, North Tower Telus Plaza
10025 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton AB T5J 2N3

Subject: Letter of support for Midwifery Graduates.
As a(n) [Albertan citizen, mother/father, childbirth professional, etc.] I would like to indicate my strong support for the Alberta Midwifery Graduates who have formally made an appeal to the Alberta Health Disciplines Board.
These five graduate midwives have been denied registration to work as a midwife in Alberta by the Midwifery Health Disciplines Committee (MHDC). I find this decision shocking. Not even a year after the wait-time and emergency debates were opened we are yet again witness to the lack of transparency in Alberta politics as well as Alberta Health and Wellness’ unwillingness to follow due process.
I fear that if the Alberta Health Disciplines Board upholds the recommendation forwarded by the Midwifery Health Disciplines Committee, Alberta women and families will be sacrificed. Waiting lists for midwives in Alberta can be as long as 40 names per month. If we had these five extra midwives in Alberta more women would be able to have timely access to midwifery services and this would be consistent with Alberta Health’s desire to offer care and choice to all Albertan families.
Many of these families are being put into a situation where they either have to leave their jobs and wait in the urban settings, at a huge expense to themselves and Alberta, or have to brave our winter road conditions to make it to a hospital. They are endangering themselves and their babies. Having community trained midwives who drive to them would fill the gap that is currently faced by Alberta Health in rural areas.
Finally, I would like to address the issue of transparency and due diligence. I rely on Alberta Health to be leaders in providing safe medical options in Alberta. To me, safety is not only possible through skill acquisition but also through clear and transparent accountability to its patients. How can there be 7 new registrants from the Midwives College of Utah (MCU) in Alberta in the last 20 months yet 6 applicants from that same program have been denied in the same time period solely on the basis of their program? On the one hand I am told that MCU is a problem, but on the other hand MHDC has continued to give licenses to MCU graduates.
Whatever the real reasons behind the refusal of these recent MCU graduates, I feel that the Alberta Health Disciplines Board should not punish the graduates for the MHDC’s biases and structural issues.
I ask the Alberta Health Disciplines Board to not only review their decision but to also grandmother these students into the Alberta Registered Midwifery community. Thank you.
Yours sincerely,
[Your Full Name]


Mischa said...

I am having trouble opening your links. Do you know what the results were of the appeals. I had been considering attending MCU before all of this nonsense.

Kendra Seatter said...

I know that this is an older post, but I am wondering what the outcome was... I am considering MCU...


Vanessa said...

Hi there! Thank you for asking, even after all this time. I do apologize for not updating my post/replying much sooner. I have now posted an update. It doesn't sound like, if you wish to practice in Alberta, that MCU is the way to go at the moment, however. :(