“True inter-professional collaboration is much more than one plus one equals two … it really is synergistic”
Interprofessional primary maternity care, in which care providers from different disciplines work together to support birthing women, has emerged as a popular and practical solution to the growing health human resource shortage across Canada. However, collaboration with midwives in rural environments has been slow and fraught with challenges. This past year, the journal Midwifery published an article in which Dr. Jude Kornelsen’s doctoral student Sarah Munro reported findings from a CRHR study of barriers and facilitators to interprofessional collaboration between rural midwives and other maternity care providers in rural BC. The study provided insights into the unique challenges that maternity care providers experience in rural communities, such as the resistance midwives can face in applying to physicians for hospital privileges or offering home birth to their clients. It also illuminated the core challenges to shared practice between midwives and family doctors. In both rural and urban environments, inequities in payment and differences in scope of practice must be resolved in order for physicians and midwives to work together in shared care teams. Check out the article as well as the policy brief we developed in collaboration with rural midwives.