University of Manitoba cuts midwifery program despite provincial shortage
Published Tuesday, June 28, 2016 6:21PM CST Last Updated Tuesday, June 28, 2016 10:46PM CST
Manitoba is no longer training midwives, despite a shortage in the occupation within the province.
The University of Manitoba has dropped its midwifery program and its fourteen students, because it is no longer accredited by the College of Midwives of Manitoba.
"We were shocked and floored, we had no idea it was coming," said Jill Larner, one of the students who took to the Manitoba legislature on Tuesday in protest.
The students said they have now lost time, money, and their dream careers.
According to the Midwives Association of Manitoba, the demand in this province calls for 200 midwives, but only 52 are currently working.
The NDP believe more needs to be done for women to access midwives, especially in northern Manitoba.
"Women have the right to their birthing plans and to be able to birth their children in their community," said Nahanni Fontaine, MLA for St. Johns.
The province doesn't have a solution yet, but ensured that the funding is still there.
"We recognize that there is a need for midwives in the province and we are trying to work and develop a sustainable program that will get recognized," said Education Minister Ian Wishart.
In the meantime, the 14 midwifery students were offered spots in the U of M's nursing program, but all 14 declined.
“We want to be midwives, we want a program,” added Larner.