An email template has been created that will allow you to email your MPPs addressing the cuts to midwifery funding! It was put together by an Ontario Midwife. Please, if you have the time, customize the template with your story and email your MPP! This discrimination is unacceptable.
EMAIL TEMPLATE (to customize):
I am writing to express my anger and disappointment in the Ford government's decision to cut all operational grants to the College of Midwives of Ontario. As one of thousands of Ontarians who supports and has thrived under the care of these much-needed professionals during pregnancies and birth, I am disappointed in the government's apparent disregard for women's healthcare. Midwifery is NOT the area cuts should take place.
Colleges for health care professionals are created based on laws that require them to function to protect the public. The work that they do is mandatory and their existence is part of what makes care safe for pregnant patients and their babies. All Colleges on initial set up receive supplementary funding from the Ministry of Health until their membership grows sufficiently to be self-sustaining.
The College of Midwives was working towards this goal. However, midwifery, unlike other health professions, is a managed program. This means the Ministry of Health decides when and where midwifery can grow. This means that midwifery has grown much more slowly than other professions. There are 910 midwives in Ontario, there are 33,000 doctors in Ontario and there are 175,000 nurses in Ontario by comparison. The only other small colleges in Ontario (Chiropody, Dental Technologist and Denturists) manage care for areas of health with a scope that doesn't carry the same potential for impact as it does to care for pregnant people and their newborns.
The College of Midwives was working in good faith towards independence over the next few years. The Ministry of Health should reinstate their funding based on the original agreement so that the College can continue to do the important job of protecting the public.
The 910 midwives of Ontario are absolutely critical to pre and post-natal care in the Ontario healthcare system. They remain vastly underpaid, under-appreciated and in high-demand by the hundreds of thousands of women who want to choose their services, services which save healthcare spending. They already pay a substantial sum for their College accreditation each year (much higher than their healthcare counterparts) and the Ford government's cuts place an additional undue burden. Until there are more midwives to fully fund the operational needs of the College, the government has a responsibility to ensure this critical overseeing body is well-resourced. The College exists for the safety and protection of the public.
This cut is just part of a broader context of the provincial government de-valuing their profession. Ontario midwives are STILL trying to get the government to come to the table to discuss remedies to the pay equity gap. An issue which the Human Rights Tribunal ruled in their favour this September, that there has been a lack of pay increase and contract negotiations due to gender-based discrimination.
There's so much more to be said, but a midwife I care about summed it up best...
"I am feeling undervalued as a midwife, and I'm scared of what the financial burden could be on midwives in the future to keep the College running. This sends the message again that this government does not care for the midwifery profession nor for the families we work with."
Do you care about the midwifery profession and the families it serves?
If so, what are you going to do to ensure the government re-instates funding for its College? What will you do to help bring the Ford government to the table for discussions about the Human Rights tribunal ruling regarding gender-based pay discrimination facing midwives in Ontario? How will you make sure the voices of your constituents like me are heard - will you sign and share this petition?
Thank you for what I anticipate will be a thoughtful response that directly addresses my questions to you.
Learn more about Midwifery in Ontario
Remember you can find your MPP's contact information here: https://www.ola.org/en/members/parliament-42
If you would like to learn more about what happened or would like to share your thoughts with your MPP follow the links for more information.