ANTIGONISH: Another midwife is coming to the area.

On February 5, Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey said he is pleased the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is adding two full-time permanent midwifery positions in the province, including one in Antigonish.

The other position is opening in Bridgewater, meaning the number of midwives in both areas will increase to three.

“We know that midwifery services do provide high satisfaction, they work well in collaboration and partnership as part of our primary cares services for maternal care and throughout the pregnancy,” said Delorey. “We are hiring. We did hear the concerns of citizens around the sustainability of the program and the NSHA responded to ensure that we bring in another midwife… in both of those locations.”

The plan is to advertise the positions over the next number of weeks across what was described as a broad target area, with recruitment also underway to fill existing and upcoming vacancies. Delorey said he is hoping the positions will be filled soon.

A release from the Nova Scotia NDP caucus states the province gave in to pressure in supporting midwifery program.

“This program has clear support from the community and benefits those who are able to access it. The Liberals shouldn’t stop at adding a midwife to each of these two locations,” said NDP Health spokesperson Tammy Martin.

“The McNeil government only responds when things have reached a boiling point. With the shortage of family doctors, it makes sense to expand midwifery to the rest of the province immediately.”

The NDP release also stated a 2011 report recommended Nova Scotia needed 20 midwives to have a viable provincial system. Last month, the NDP caucus launched a petition calling on the government to ensure that midwifery services are supported and expanded in the province, with over 100 people registering support in the first 24 hours.