Pandemic thrusts B.C. midwives into burnout crisis
VICTORIA -- A burnout crisis is bubbling to the surface in B.C. delivery rooms, according to the Midwives Association of B.C.
The organization conducted a survey of its members that found the childbirth experts were not afforded provincial support to purchase personal protective equipment early in the pandemic.
According to the survey, 81 per cent of those asked said they had to buy or make items like masks and gloves.
Findings also show that many midwives suffered significant financial pitfalls because of the extra costs, and 20 per cent of midwives are now considering leaving the industry.
All this came as the midwife association says the pandemic pushed demand for home births to a new high.
"The pandemic has exposed a lot of weaknesses in our system." said Lehe Speigelman, president of the Midwives Association of B.C. "For midwives, it exposed a real lack of support from the government."
In a statement to CTV News Vancouver Island, the Ministry of Health said it highly values the work of midwives and is attempting to address issues surrounding burnout, stress and increased demand.
The government also said it started to offer free personal protective equipment to midwives in November.
"I has been a lot of extra work on all the midwives," said Lorna McRae, a Saanich-based midwife.
Midwives on Vancouver Island and in the rest of B.C. are currently embroiled in a long and bitter contract dispute with the province.
The child birth experts are lobbying the Ministry of Health to give them similar support and benefits to those afforded to other health-care workers in the province.