ITK puts out call for midwifery assessment

Report should contain “regional-specific and national level recommendations”

Midwives employed by the Government of Nunavut are based at Cambridge Bay’s Kitikmeot Health Centre. Now Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami plans to commission an assessment of midwifery in the four Inuit regions. (File photo)

By Jane George

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.

Share This Story

(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    In other words lets not check the results of the past practice, the safety or the value if any of the practice. Lets just get involved in something we know nothing about. This is a health issue. ITK leave this to the health care providers and those responsible for providing health services.
    Folks this is what happens when you as an unelected bunch of lobbyists suck up to a liberal government who direct cash to them instead of the elected governments responsible. This is happening in health and education as well. Money being squandered by a bunch of unqualified, unelected lobbyists.

  2. Posted by Endless loop on

    The answers to all of their questions are already known. They’ve been through this exercise before. In Nunavut, when they don’t like the answers, or solving problems are just too difficult or not politically palatable, they just keep getting funding to keep “studying” the problem over and over and over again.

  3. Posted by Midwife on

    The are lots of midwives in the Baffin region, have been for generations.
    But the powers-that-be won’t let them do their job any more.
    Just like drum dancing and throat singing were prohibited, so to was the practice of midwifery.
    Who do you think assisted in the birth of the grandmother of the Minister of Health and the grandmother of the Minister of Culture and Heritage, and the grandmother of the Premier, and the grandmothers of the other members of Cabinet, and the grandmothers of the members of ITK?
    Were the traditional midwives perfect? Of course not. Neither are the current crop of healthcare professionals.
    Some of the traditional midwives are still alive. They could help, if the health care monopoly was not so intent on guarding its turf. Those midwives know when a birth is going as it should, and they could call for medical assistance if things start to go bad. But only if there was a relationship of trust and mutual respect.
    Midwives help the mother through an unusual but natural process that may take hours or even days.
    Doctors, on the other hand, seem to be all about getting it done fast and safe.

    • Posted by Go for it on

      Traditional midwives can still practice, it’s just that they can’t get the licensed jobs within the GN. They practiced for thousands of years traditionally though, without western society to pay and accredit them. If people want to keep doing it that way, nobody is stopping them, just have the guts to follow through and do it traditionally. You can’t get paid and accredited as a modern midwife though without doing the modern training. I’m suspecting what you want is to have all the money and support that goes to the modern midwives, without getting the training and the license. BTW, you can also drum dance and throat sing. It’s a lie that these things were prohibited, activists love to promote their mythological narratives. Anything the inuit traditionally did, they can still do. Show us how the traditional ways are better, don’t tell us. If people don’t do it, it’s because they don’t really want to, because they can if they choose to.

Comments are closed.