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Sask. moves to expand the role of midwives

FILE: A midwife performs an ultrasound in an undated Shutterstock image. FILE: A midwife performs an ultrasound in an undated Shutterstock image.
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Saskatchewan midwives will soon be able to prescribe and administer certain drugs, order x-rays and conduct newborn hearing screenings.

Midwives are provincially licenced and registered health care professionals who offer primary care to low-risk clients during pregnancy, birth and for six weeks postpartum. Their services are funded through the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

On Monday, the province announced plans to amend the midwife regulations to expand their scope of practice.

“Providing women with choice in their reproductive health is important and strengthening the role of midwives helps ensure women can make those choices with confidence,” Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Laura Ross said in a news release.

“Ensuring midwives can provide more fulsome care for women means greater access for those in communities across the province.”

According to the province, the regulatory change will allow midwives to prescribe from a category of drugs, rather than from a specific list.

“Previously, when a new drug became available it would have to be added to the regulations before midwives could prescribe it,” the province said.

The Saskatchewan College of Midwives, the provincial midwife regulatory body, will require members to participate in necessary training and keep their competencies up to date to provide the expanded services, the province says.

The Ministry of Health says it consulted with the health authority, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, and the Midwives Association of Saskatchewan in developing the new regulations.

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