ITK puts out call for midwifery assessment
Report should contain “regional-specific and national level recommendations”
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami plans to step into a health domain that is usually overseen by territorial and provincial governments: midwifery.
An ITK request for proposals, which closed on June 20, is looking for a midwifery status assessment that will focus on assessing the “status, strengths and barriers of midwifery practices” in the four Inuit Nunangat regions.
ITK said its assessment should produce an executive summary report and a full report outlining the status of midwifery in each of the regions.
According to the RFP description, the assessment should look at the scope and extent of ongoing midwifery practice, strengths that support its use, and barriers or weaknesses that have historically impeded or are currently impeding midwifery practice.
The reports in the assessment, which carries a September deadline, should also provide “regional-specific and national level recommendations for improving birthing policy development, including potential indicators to monitor progress in relation to these over time.”
ITK said the assessment should look at these specific areas of interest in each region:
- current status of midwifery
- demand for midwifery services
- individual to systems-level supports in place for midwifery
- policies that act as barriers to accessing health-care services
- preferred choice of birthplace for community members (i.e., in the community, in a regional hub community, in the south, etc.)
- how to register and/or support midwives in the regions
The RFP follows the recently released final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls that includes a recommendation for improved midwifery services for Inuit by Inuit.
As things stand, only half the midwife positions in Nunavut are staffed, and of the 10 indeterminate registered midwife positions in Nunavut, only five are filled.
As well, there are no midwives at all in the Baffin region, the most populous of the territory’s three regions.