Rural Midwifery: Overcoming Barriers to Practice

Jude Kornelson, PhD

Access to the delivery of health services, including midwifery, is a challenge for rural parturient women due, in part, to the closure of practices and centralization of health care services The Centre for Rural Health Research and the Midwives' Association of British Columbia (MABC) Rural Midwifery Committee convened a meeting in June 2008 consisting of researchers and rural midwives with the objective of clearly identifying barriers to practice. Barriers and potential solutions to the sustainability of rural midwifery arose from the discussion. The article divides the barriers into six themes: professional and social barriers, health service delivery challenges, education challenges, integration issues, inadequate models of remuneration for care in rural environments, and geographic barriers to practice. Potential solutions and recommendations are explored in order to reduce or eliminate barriers to access and move towards a sustainable future for rural midwifery.

Rural midwifery, sustainability, remuneration, social barriers, geographical barriers, access to midwifery care.

This article has been peer-reviewed 


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