Quinte Health Care is making a move to allow midwives expanded privileges overseeing births at Belleville General Hospital.
Chief of Staff at BGH, home of the regional maternity unit, Dr. Dick Zoutman, says the idea is to allow midwives to oversee births during which an anesthesiologist provides the epidural pain relief.
At present the patient is transferred to a doctor’s care if an epidural is needed.
Zoutman says, “Our focus is on quality and safety first. The entire maternity team is working together to make this happen. There is a fair bit of training that has to go on for everybody to get up to the same method.”
Those training sessions are now underway.
He says Quinte Health Care supports the project.
There are “seven or eight midwives” involved. Zoutman says it’s a “meaningful number” of mothers who want the midwives, instead of doctors, at the birth.