Note: This article was originally published in the Summer 2023 edition of our On Call newsletter and has not been updated.
The College continues to work towards expanded lists of the laboratory tests midwives can order and perform and the prescription drugs that midwives can prescribe and administer.
On March 27, the College submitted to the Ministry of Health the list of laboratory tests, approved at the March Council meeting, to be included in Schedule 2 of the General Regulation (O. Reg. 45/22) under the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act, 1990. We are corresponding with the Ministry about the next stage of this process and will advise midwives and the public when we have additional information.
Designated Drugs Regulation
As midwives are aware, the Designated Drugs Regulation sets out a list of drugs midwives can prescribe and substances that midwives can administer by injection or inhalation on a midwife’s own authority within the scope of midwifery practice. The regulation has not changed since 2010 and has not kept up with changes in practices.
In 2018, we made a submission to the Ministry to remove the list in the Designated Drugs Regulation and replace it with the authority to prescribe any drug or substance within the scope of midwifery practice.
We have been communicating with the Ministry over the past few years to find the right path forward for Ontarians. In April 2023, the College received a letter from the Ministry of Health’s Assistant Deputy Minister Dr. Karima Velji directing the College to update the current regulation by expanding the list in the current regulation. The letter encourages the College to submit a proposed Designated Drugs Regulation with an updated list as soon as possible.
While the evidence demonstrates that midwives being able to work to their optimal scope is ultimately in the best interest of Ontarians, it is undeniable that expanding the list of labs and drugs that midwives can order and prescribe will improve client care.
We have created an updated list based of additional drugs reflecting current midwifery practice, based on changes in practice, the College’s 2018 survey on designated drugs, and recent conversations with the Association of Ontario Midwives. We are now working with the Ministry to understand what they consider in scope and plan to continue to work with the Ministry to update the Designated Drugs Regulation. We will bring the updated list to the Quality Assurance Committee in the summer of 2023.