On Friday (Feb 17, 2023) the BC Ministry of Health said it would be adding 20 new training seats to BC’s only midwifery program at UBC, bringing the annual intake up to 48 seats.

A news release from the Ministry said that 12 of those seats will open up in UBC’s Bachelor of Midwifery program, bringing to annual intake up to 32. In addition, eight new seats will be added to the Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program (IEMBP) which will double the annual intake numbers.

Midwives have been regulated in BC since 1998 and from 2020-21, midwives assisted in more than 12,000 births, or about 27% of births in BC which is the highest proportion in Canada.

About 10% of students enrolled in UBC’s midwifery program self-identify as Indigenous.

“Midwives have always been caring for pregnant people, babies and their families in First Nations communities, but colonization and systemic racism in the health-care system have threatened this practice,” said Jennifer Rice, parliamentary secretary for rural health.

“Adding these new seats to the UBC midwifery program will help bring birth back to First Nations communities and ensure equitable access to maternity care.”