We are writing today with important news about the College’s financial position.
The College has been advised that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will no longer provide operational grants to the College. We were also advised that this decision is retroactive to April 1, 2018. This means that the funding we had anticipated for the current fiscal year will not be received. We received this news on November 8, 2018, eight months into our fiscal year.
For 25 years, the College has reliably received annual grants from the Ministry. While the loss of this funding creates a significant budgetary shortfall for the College, we will still be able to deliver our mandate. Careful stewardship of our resources has allowed us to build net assets in recent years. We will operate with a deficit for the remainder of the 2018/19 fiscal year. We anticipate operating with a deficit until at least 2021.
The College has been working on a plan to ensure that the impact of these changes on members is minimal. These changes will have no impact on the public. We cannot cut our services and programs, as the College’s work is mandated by our governing legislation. We are seeking efficiencies at the College, both operationally and in our Council. It is likely that midwives will have to pay more to the College on an annual basis.
We will be in touch again to share an update on our plan going forward. Midwives can expect to hear from the College regarding proposed fees prior to our March Council meeting once Council has made some tough decisions.
This is not news we wanted to share. That said, we felt it was important to share this information as soon as we could.
Tiffany Haidon RM
College of Midwives of Ontario
Kelly Dobbin RM
Registrar & CEO
College of Midwives of Ontario
Updated Q&As on December 18, 2018:
Has the College lost operational funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care?
That is the information that we have at this time. We were told that we would not receive any operational funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for the 2018-19 fiscal year or in future years. Should this change we will advise midwives and the public as soon as possible.
Will this impact the College’s ability to regulate midwifery?
No. These changes will have no impact on the public. The College of Midwives of Ontario will continue to regulate midwifery in the public interest, and to ensure that midwives in Ontario are qualified, skilled, and competent to practise. Ontarians can be confident that the College makes decisions in their best interest.
What is the College’s role?
The College of Midwives of Ontario is the regulator of midwives in the province of Ontario. We regulate midwives practising in Ontario by ensuring that midwives meet high standards and acting when risks are identified.
All midwives follow the same professional principles and standards of practice. We provide guidance to help them do so. Our purpose is to serve the public and the public interest.
How much funding had the College of Midwives of Ontario received from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care in the past?
The College had received operational grants from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for the past 25 years. We report our financial statements each year in our annual reports. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the College received $799,415 from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. This year the operational grant request was $750,553.
How much will membership fees increase?
The College’s Council will set fees at an upcoming meeting, likely at its next meeting which will be March 20, 2019. Any fee increase would come into effect for registration renewal on October 1, 2019. As mentioned in our statement, the College has built net assets in recent years. We will operate with a deficit for the remainder of the 2018/19 fiscal year. By using our net assets, we aim to minimize the impact on membership fees while still providing our core services.
What is your process to raise fees?
In order to raise membership fees Council needs to amend the College’s Fee and Remuneration By-law. In accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, we are obligated to circulate all proposed regulations and certain by-laws to every member of the College at least 60 days before they are approved by the Council. We then need to carefully review feedback received and prepare a report for Council, who will make a final decision. This process is the same every time we raise our fees.
Our Council meets in March, June, October, and December each year. For a fee increase to take effect in time for our October 1 registration renewal deadline, a proposed fee increase will need to be approved for consultation by Council in March. After a 60-day consultation Council can consider a fee increase in June, for implementation for the October 1 membership renewal period.
Why did you decide to announce this news at this time?
We had to share the news of our loss of operating funding with our Council and the public at the December meeting in order to meet our timeline to be able to raise fees. (See above.) We need to start making decisions now to be able to ensure we are able to continue to deliver our mandate of regulating in the public interest.
How many members does the College of Midwives of Ontario have?
We publish recent membership numbers in our newsletters. Our last newsletter reports a total of 956 registered midwives as of October 22, 2018.