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If there ever was a time to write a letter to a government representative, now's the time...

How to get midwifery services in your District

What can you do to bring midwifery services to your community? Or if you live in one of the DHAs with a model site, what can you do to encourage the expansion of midwifery services?

Contact any or all of these and make your voice heard:

Here are some letter-writing ideas.

Contact your MLA

Government policy determines what services get funded and supported. Let your MLA know that midwifery is important to you and your community. Ask what they plan to do to make this service available to you in the short term-for example, could they advocate to enable women who want midwifery care to travel to another DHA to receive it? Could they urge the government to assist private practice midwives who are willing to work in unserved areas to pay for the required insurance?

In the long term, what can they do to encourage the government to support the DHAs financially to enable them to introduce midwifery?

You'll find contact information for all MLAs at:
www.gov.ns.ca/LEGISLATURE/Members/index.html
If you don't know who your MLA is, you can look them up on the Elections Nova Scotia site

Contact the Minister of Health

Midwifery is being integrated in Nova Scotia as part of an overall expansion of Primary Health Care. Ask the same questions as you asked your MLA: Is there anything the Department could do in the short term as a show of good faith and concern for these women who don't have access to midwifery care-for example, allow women to go to another DHA for midwifery services or provide funds to cover liability insurance for private practice midwives who want to practice in non-model site areas?

And in the long term, what can the government do to support the DHAs financially to enable—and encourage—them to introduce midwifery?

The Department of Health's own information about Nova Scotia's Primary Health Care Plans and midwifery implementation is posted at:
gov.ns.ca/health/primaryhealthcare/

You can contact Minister of Health,

Honourable Leo A. Glavine
Department of Health
17th Floor, Barrington Tower
1894 Barrington Street
P.O. Box 488
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2R8
Phone: (902) 424-3377
Fax: (902) 424-0559
E-mail: health.minister@gov.ns.ca

The IWK

If you are in the Halifax Regional Municipality you should also send your letter to:
Jocelyn Vine

Contact your District Health Authority and Community Health Board

It's basically up to each individual District Health Authority (DHA) to determine if, when, and how they will integrate midwives into their primary maternity care service. DHAs have many competing needs and limited budgets. They will have no particular reason to make midwifery services a priority unless you let them know that it's important.
In the Districts where the model sites are located, expanding midwifery services beyond the initial locations also needs to be made a priority.

Your elected Community Health Board (CHB) makes recommendations to the District Health Authorities about the kinds of services that are needed in your community.  Let your CHB know that midwifery services are important to you and your family.  Let them know that midwifery care is important to your community, too.
You'll find information you can use to make your points under “What is Midwifery” on this site. “Ten Reasons Why We Need Midwifery in Nova Scotia” is very brief and to the point.
You'll find contact information for your local Community Health Board on your District Health Authority website. 

For Capital Health

Write to the Community Health Board for your area and urge them to push the CDHA Board to support changing the employment model and/or moving midwifery to primary health care rather than the IWK.

Also write to the Board of Directors for Capital District Health. Address your letter to the Chair, Dr. Daniel O'Brien and to the Board. Send it to:

John McCarthy, Board Development Officer
Room 2413, Halifax Infirmary
1796 Summer Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3A7

Phone: (902) 473-1143
Fax: (902) 473-3368
Email: John.McCarthy@cdha.nshealth.ca

Contact the Midwifery Regulatory Council (MRC)

The Midwifery Regulatory Council is the body that governs the profession of midwifery in Nova Scotia. Among its members are three public representatives who are there to represent the views and needs of women across the province. Contact the MRC and ask what their plans are for encouraging the government to expand midwifery services and make midwifery a sustainable profession and a service that’s available to all Nova Scotian families, not just the lucky few who live near a model site.

The Chair of the MRC is Anne Jackman
anne.jackman@gov.ns.ca

Keep On Working...

The Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia has been working for over 25 years to have midwifery accepted as part of Nova Scotia's health system and to have midwifery care covered by MSI. Legislation is a big step forward and in the long term, a very good thing for women, babies and families.

We’ve worked hard to get this far but we’ve still got a way to go before midwifery services are available to all and accepted as an everyday part of maternity care in our province.

Write those letters, then come join us.