South Shore midwife program collapses under Liberals

January 17, 2018 at 10:48 pm

LIVERPOOL, NS – Queens-Shelburne MLA Kim Masland is calling on the Liberal government to immediately repair the damage done to the South Shore Community Midwives program, following news that the service would be indefinitely suspended.

“This is a devastating loss for women on the South Shore,” says Masland. “This invaluable program deserves to be resourced properly, not left to deteriorate as the Liberals have done.”

Masland says this is another example of how the centralization of health care is hurting rural Nova Scotia.

“Midwifery services must be part of the plan when we look at primary maternity care—especially in rural Nova Scotia where it is more difficult for women to access a family doctor or hospital” says Masland. “Women deserve to be able to access midwifery services throughout their pregnancy, and by letting this program crumble, the Liberals are essentially saying midwifery services don’t matter.”

Seven years ago, a government report said the midwifery program was falling apart and needed significant resources. The report recommended increasing staffing and expanding the program to the Valley and Cape Breton.

Masland says it is disappointing to see the Liberals let another report go to waste.

“This 2011 report should never have been left to collect dust on the shelf,” says Masland. “Because of their inaction, there are now 21 pregnant women on the South Shore who may have lost the option to give birth at home. No expecting mother should have to go through that. It is time for the Liberals to support midwifery programs across our province and make this primary maternity care service a priority.”