ON Chiropractic Spring/Summer 2013 - Page 23

ON Chiropractic to hospitals. In the 1990s, the Ministry of Health altered regulations to provide access to hospitals for midwives in advance of legislative authorization through amendments to the Public Hospitals Act. Although those changes were eventually made, even today midwives struggle to get sufficient access to hospitals to treat the number of Ontario women who request midwifery care. Data collection was a primary means of making their case. As part of their funding mechanisms, midwives were required to submit a data collection form in order to get paid for their services. The result was a database of independently analyzed results that clearly demonstrated that patient outcomes and satisfaction levels supported an expanded role for midwives. This data is still collected as part of the Birth Outcomes Research Network (BORN) Registry. The registry allows for analysis comparing midwife births inside and outside of hospitals to physician births. This data has been essential, too, in making the case for Ontario’s forthcoming birth centres. I n addition to evidence and a strong and consistent professional identity, cost effectiveness was a core element in the advocacy that led to the announcement of two new midwifery-led birth centres last year. “It’s expensive having births in the hospital and childbirth is the number one reason why women in Ontario are hospitalized,” Weston reports. In accordance with this evidence, the Association of Ontario Midwives led the effort to secure funding for the birth centres. The campaign was fortunate to coincide with an era in which the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is seeking ways to provide higher quality care at lower costs to taxpayers. A variety of economic data points supported the case for birth centres. The AOM demonstrated the potential savings in a variety of ways. First was the hig