Support Midwifery Funding

Support Midwifery Funding
Midwifery services are funded by Alberta Health Services from the Alberta Health budget. Unlike doctors who can bill for each individual service like clinic visits, interpreting lab tests, and attending a birth, midwives use a "Course of Care" model that pays midwives one fee for all services provided to a woman from the beginning to the end of care.

The Alberta Association of Midwives negotiates for Course of Care numbers with Alberta Health Services after consulting with practices to determine demand for midwifery services and with the Midwifery Workforces Planning Committee to determine where midwifery services are needed. This year, despite long lists of unaccommodated people, the 2015-2016 budget has been held to what it was last year. As well, we have midwives ready to move into rural areas where need has been expressed.

Maternity care services are provided by Alberta Health, all people in Alberta will have their care for pregnancy and birth paid for by the health care budget. Limiting access to midwifery does not make financial sense nor is it a good health care strategy. Women cannot be put on waitlists for midwifery care because babies don’t wait. Women should have the right to choose their caregivers. Midwifery care is a fiscally responsible way of delivering maternity care services in Alberta. Midwifery care delivers good outcomes for the health of Alberta families.
Write a letter to your MLA! You may include your own story and / or use any of the following suggestions. Send us suggestions you have. Please send us a copy of your letter too.

How can you help?

Want to do more? Consider joining MCAN, our non-profit provincial body that represents consumers on maternity care policy, and Birth Unlimited, the non-profit consumer organization that supports families seeking healthy alternatives.

Further Reading:

Maternity Care Alberta Report

Alberta Health Rural Health Care Review


Finding your MLA’s address is a simple as clicking here Your Postal Code


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Re: Midwifery Funding in Alberta

I’m writing because I am concerned about the shortage of midwives in Alberta. Our maternity care system is unsustainable, is not meeting families’ needs and needs to change.

Pregnant people find it extremely difficult to find a primary caregiver of their choice. The demand for midwives far exceeds the number of registered midwives, a critical shortage of obstetricians has loomed for years, and fewer family doctors are providing maternity care.

Please accept this letter as request to increase funding for midwives so that families can have access to midwifery care. Alberta’s registered midwives have the training and expertise to improve care and increase access to care at a time when increasing demand and decreasing accessibility are presenting significant challenges for families.

Midwives are vital to Alberta’s health care system because they provide cost effective care and improve health outcomes. Despite Alberta Health acknowledging this and stating a commitment to supporting choice for families, funding is currently capped such that midwives cannot take more families in to care.

Registered Midwives ...

Midwifery Services are safe and cost effective…
Restricting funding for Midwifery Services makes even less sense in this time of economic uncertainty, midwives are in a unique position to improve health outcomes and provide cost savings.

  • Are experts in healthy pregnancy and birth
  • Are essential health care professionals
  • Are primary providers for pregnancy, birth and postpartum care
  • Are university educated and highly trained
  • Are covered by Alberta Health
  • Are in demand, more and more women are choosing midwifery care
  • Are found in hospitals, community clinics and homes across Alberta
  • Work in collaboration with other health care providers
  • Lower rates of Caesarean Section
  • Efficient use of hospital resources
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Reduced preterm birth rates
  • Fewer hospital admissions prenatally and postpartum
  • Fewer newborn hospital admissions
  • Reduced rates of medical intervention
  • Collaboration and timely consultation
  • Improved health outcomes
  • Millions of dollars in health care savings

Alberta families want midwives to have a funding agreement with Alberta Health that will help grow and sustain the profession, enhance services and increase access to maternity care throughout the province.

The acute shortage of midwives compromises care for people and babies, creates inefficiencies, increases risk, and decreases satisfaction for families.

Please accept this letter as request to increase funding for midwives so that families can have access to midwifery care.

Yours truly,


You and Your Family Names


cc Premier 

Honourable Minister of Health 
Deputy Minister 

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