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British Columbian midwives apply for legal recognition.

--Vancouver, B.C., August 20, 1992. The Midwives' Association of British Columbia (MABC) today announced it has applied to the new Health Professions Council for legal recognition of midwifery as a selfgoverning profession.

In November of 1991, the Royal Commission on Health Care and Costs recommended that midwifery be legalized as an autonomous profession in British Columbia. "By submitting our application for designation as a health profession, we have started the formal process towards recognition and we expect that midwifery will be legalized...within the next twelve months," said Linda Knox, President of the Midwives' Association, which has 50 midwife members.

Canada has been the only industrialized nation in the world without legally recognized midwifery as part of its health care system. Now both Ontario and Alberta have passed legislation to provide this essential service.

"We hope to have legal status by May of 1993, when our Association is hosting the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in Vancouver....We will be welcoming over 2000 midwives from around the world to Vancouver--the first time since its inception that the ICM has allowed their Congress to be hosted by a member country that does not recognize midwifery as a legal profession...." said Carol Hird, President of the ICM and vice-president of the MABC.

Around the world 75% of babies born today are born into the hands of midwives. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes midwives as international specialists in normal childbirth. Numerous studies have demonstrated that midwives provide the safest standard of maternity care.

"This application for regulation and legalization for midwives under the Health Professions Act merely brings B.C. into line with the rest of the industrialized nations and with the Provinces of Alberta and Ontario," said Knox. The consumer-based Midwifery Task Force has 500 members and 1500 active supporters.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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