For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MLA Candidates Responding to Consumer Questions about Maternity Care Options
April 28, 2015 – Candidates in the upcoming election are engaging with Albertans on social media, in emails, by phone, and on doorsteps, speaking in favour of changing the funding model for midwifery care in Alberta. Changing the current funding model for midwifery could save $7 million per year in Alberta’s health care budget.
- Sharon Polsky, Wildrose candidate for Calgary Varsity, tweeted: “@TeamWildrose will be pushing to redirect more health resources toward midwifery.”
- @albertaNDP tweeted: “We will support increased integration into health facilities & ensure midwifery access is increased for Alberta families.”
- Liberal leader David Swann made the following statement in an email: “I support greater funding and expansion of services for Midwives in Alberta and … indicate my support to double the number practicing and give women a choice.”
- Alberta Party candidate for Leduc-Beaumont Bert Hoogewonink said via email: “The Alberta Party … will ensure (midwifery) funding is predictable with increases for population growth and inflation.”
- Green Party: The Green Party’s Kathryn Jackson for Edmonton-Whitemud agreed with consumers via email that “Alberta’s maternity care system is in crisis” and needs to change.
- Progressive Conservatives: Chris LaBossière, candidate for Edmonton Rutherford, tweeted “I know the party is reinvesting in the plan and committing to more midwives.”
“We have sent a survey regarding maternity care options and midwifery care to all the candidates in this election,” said Nicole Hill, president of MCAN (MaternityCare Consumers of Alberta Network). “Responses are coming in. We told candidates they have until May 2nd to submit their responses. All parties still have a chance to share their positions on this important topic.”
PC MLA Richard Starke in Vermilion-Lloydminster was a co-author of a recent rural health care report released in March 2015 which recommended expanding midwifery care to rural areas. PC MLA Greg Weadick in Lethbridge West was Advanced Education minister in 2011, when a new midwifery training program was launched at Mount Royal University in Calgary. The first cohort of MRU midwifery students graduates this spring, but many of the new midwives are leaving Alberta due to the lack of jobs under the current funding model for midwifery, despite huge consumer demand. Health Minister Stephen Mandel met with MCAN representatives in January 2015 to listen to concerns regarding maternity care options. There are no reports of public comments from Starke, Weadick, or Mandel regarding midwifery during this campaign.
Contact: ASAC VP External Dana Weatherhead, 780-887-0725, firstname.lastname@example.org
ASAC (Association for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth) Action plan: www.asac.ab.ca
Contact: MCAN President Nicole Hill, 780-994-3209, email@example.com
MCAN Action plan: www.maternitycarealberta.com/election-campaign.php