Ontario midwives can now give vaccines, prescribe more drugs

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Ontario midwives can now prescribe more drugs and administer routine vaccinations, which the provincial government says will reduce the need for additional medical appointments for patients.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced the expanded scope for midwives, saying it will connect more people to convenient care and reduce the need for referrals to other professionals.

Midwives can now administer routine vaccinations including flu shots, COVID-19 vaccines and the Tdap shot, which protects against tetanus, diptheria and whooping cough, and has been recommended in the third trimester of pregnancy for about five years.

Midwives will also be able to prescribe more medications than they previously could for nausea and managing miscarriages, as well as birth control for postpartum patients and administering treatment for managing labour pain in a hospital setting.

The Ministry of Health says it is continuing to work with the College of Midwives of Ontario and the Association of Ontario Midwives to explore ways midwives’ scope of practice “can be optimized.”

Both the college and the association welcomed the news, but have previously said it would be more helpful for patients and midwives if they were allowed to order and prescribe the full range of tests and medications used in pregnancy care because, due to advances in medicine, a list can be out of date almost as soon as it is published. 

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