Note: This article was originally posted in our July 2018 newsletter, and has not been updated.
At its June meeting, the College of Midwives of Ontario Council voted to amend the Fees and Remuneration By-law. Fees will be increased to $2150 for general class of registration and $1075 for inactive class of registration, effective for this year’s renewal. Following this year’s increase, fees will then go up with inflation, at 2% per year.
This was a difficult decision for Council, but in order for the College to continue to fulfill its mandate of public protection and meet the cost of regulation, the increase was needed.
During our Fee and Remuneration By-law Consultation, the College received 29 comments.
We heard from members that they were frustrated to be asked to pay higher fees when midwives’ wages have not increased. While College understands the financial strains on midwives, fee increases are necessary for the College to effectively fulfill our statutory obligations and continue to meet the needs of the regulatory landscape.
Members also raised the fact that the College’s fees are higher than other regulatory health colleges in the province. While this is true, the amount we generate from membership fees is a fraction of other Colleges regulating primary health care providers. In this table, we use the rough equation of membership fees x number of members = resources.
As you can see, the College’s budget is less than 1/10 of the budget of the lowest grossing of the above Colleges.
Although the College does regulate a much lower number of members, we do not have fewer statutory obligations. We are required by law to set standards for the profession, make regulations and administer registration and quality assurance programs, and handle complaints and discipline.
Over the past couple of years, the volume of work at the College has increased. The complexity of the registration applications we review has increased due to greater differences in the way midwifery is practised in other Canadian jurisdictions and due to alternative practice models becoming increasingly available in Ontario. We continue to face an increase in the number of complex investigations and preliminary inquiries. The College’s work is also driven by external developments and the directives received from the legislature.
We also heard that we should offer lower fees for new registrants. This is something that was not able to be implemented at this time, but we will continue to keep this in mind as fees are discussed in the future. We presently offer an Inactive Class with a reduced membership fee, which is not the case with all other regulated professionals.
We also heard from members that the new Installment Fee felt punitive to those having trouble making payments. After receiving feedback about this new fee it is clear that this fee could be perceived as penalizing those that are already having trouble meeting the high demands of membership fee charges from the College and the Association.
The College will not be implementing installment fees at this time, after taking into account feedback through the consultation. Thank you to all members for your comments.