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This article was published 5/8/2016 (1573 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba midwifery students left in limbo by the cancellation of their program will be able to complete their studies thanks to an agreement signed with Ontario's McMaster University.

The University of Manitoba and Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced on Friday it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with McMaster to offer admission to midwifery students who had completed their first year of Manitoba's Midwifery program. Some details of this new agreement were published in a Free Press article earlier this week.

"This new partnership will ensure the midwifery students in Manitoba who have already invested significant time and effort toward their studies can complete their coursework uninterrupted," Wishart said in a statement.

"We are proud to follow through on a commitment that was made and I commend our partners for their hard work in reaching this resolution, which will help meet the growing demand for midwives in our province."

Fourteen women entered the University College of the North's midwifery degree program last year, but were left in limbo in June when the province announced the program was being discontinued. It had graduated nine students since 2006 at a cost of more than $8 million.

The students were supposed to transfer to the University of Manitoba in September, but the NDP government was voted out before funding was approved and the Conservative government wanted problems sorted out before it set up funding.

The students will now be taught in Manitoba by U of M midwifery instructors as McMaster transfer students and given a modified fall term so they can move into clinical midwifery placements afterwards.

Beverley O'Connell, dean of the U of M's college of nursing, said "we're very pleased with our 'homegrown' solution, which will allow current midwifery students to continue to live, work and study in Winnipeg and, during clinical placements, serve patients in remote and rural communities across Manitoba."

Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of midwifery and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster, said "this collaboration will build on McMaster's expertise in midwifery education and support the growth of midwifery in Manitoba."

The Ontario Midwifery Education Program was established in 1993, and is the oldest of its type in the country.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Reporter

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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