Ontario Connecting People to More Care from Midwives

Midwives can now prescribe and administer more medications, making it faster and easier for families to connect to care

May 03, 2024

Health

The Ontario government is making it easier and more convenient for patients to connect to care by expanding the list of drugs that midwives can prescribe and administer for the first time since 2010. This expansion includes additional routine vaccinations, treatment for nausea, vomiting and acid reflux, labour management, birth control and management of labour pain in a hospital setting.

“Our government is continuing to ensure people have access to the care they need, when they need it,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By making changes to allow midwives to provide more care through additional treatments and more vaccines, we are connecting more people to convenient care, while reducing the need for referrals to other providers.”

The province has made changes that reflect the training and expertise of Ontario’s highly skilled midwives by allowing them to:

  • Administer routine vaccinations for:
    • COVID-19
    • Flu
    • RSV
    • Tetanus
    • Diphtheria
    • Pertussis
    • Rotavirus
    • Chickenpox
  • Prescribe:
    • antibacterials such as azithromycin and cefixime
    • additional antifungal treatments
    • antivirals to prevent herpes transmission to the newborn
    • oral, injectable, intravaginal, intrauterine and transdermal contraceptives for post-partum patients
    • additional medications that help with nausea, heartburn and indigestion, vomiting, lactation treatments, inducing or augmenting labour and managing spontaneous early pregnancy loss
  • Administer:
    • treatments for nausea, syphilis and gonorrhea
    • naloxone to reverse effects of opioids
  • Prescribe and administer additional vitamins, minerals and fluid replacements
  • Administer treatment for the management of labour pain in a hospital setting

As part of the Your Health plan, the Ontario government is making it easier for highly skilled, regulated health care professionals, including midwives, to work to the full extent of their training and expertise to better serve the needs of people in a connected and convenient manner.


Quick Facts

  • Last year saw a record-breaking number of new health care professionals join the workforce, with the addition of 17,000 new nurses, thousands of PSWs and 2,400 new physicians (including over 1,000 internationally educated physicians) in 2023. Another 30,000 nurses are currently studying at Ontario colleges and universities.
  • Midwives will be required to demonstrate appropriate education to support certain changes (such as safe administration of opioids and insertion of intrauterine devices) and will be further supported by a revised Prescribing and Administering Standard from the College of Midwives of Ontario and with additional resources including an updated Prescribing Resource for Midwives from the Association of Ontario Midwives.
  • The ministry continues to work with the College of Midwives of Ontario and the Association of Ontario Midwives to explore ways that midwifery scope of practice can be optimized.
  • More than 850,000 pharmacist assessments have been completed since allowing pharmacists to treat and prescribe for 19 common medical ailments, including pink eye, UTIs and acne. Currently, more than 4,600 pharmacies (97 per cent of the pharmacies in the province) are participating in the program.
  • Since expanding the role of registered nurses to prescribe medications, 57 registered nurses have been authorized to prescribe, after meeting specific requirements, with close to 900 others in the process of meeting education requirements for RN prescribing.