“On behalf of our patients, I am delighted to thank the Ontario government for their support towards the creation of the Ontario Fetal Centre. This will allow patients more timely access to the highly specialized, talented clinicians who can make a profound difference in the lifetime health of their developing babies. As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank, we are also grateful for this new investment enabling us to continue to provide donor milk to fragile babies across Ontario.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Toronto today to confirm their support for the center which is a collaboration between the Sinai Health System and SickKids.
“Expecting a child is an exciting and busy time, but it can also be one of the scariest and most stressful. Government has a role to play in easing what’s often a new parent’s biggest worry — will my child be healthy? We’re helping to put their minds at ease by creating the first centre in Canada for advanced care for babies at risk while still in the womb. It means parents facing the added anxiety of a high-risk pregnancy can get the care they need — even the most advanced treatments — without having to leave the province. We are also enhancing programs for new and expectant parents, such as increasing access to midwives for low-risk pregnancies. These steps are boosting choices and care every step of the way.”
Its apart of the Liberals 2018 budget and hopes to bring together leading specialists in fetal care, providing pregnant women in Ontario with greater access to some of the most advanced in-utero surgeries. Wynne also announced a series of actions to improve care for families from conception to the newborns’ first six weeks. The government will give families more choices when having a baby by providing access to midwives, who are experts in low-risk pregnancy, birth and care for newborns. Ontario is also increasing the bundle of support for families through actions including:
- Providing over 27,000 people access to the Ontario Fertility Program, which helps people start and grow their families, including funding for a full round of in vitro fertilization
- Expanding the Pumps for Premature Babies Program, which gives premature babies who need surgery or who were born at a very low birth weight access to human milk, reducing the risk of potentially life-threatening complications
- Making it easier for new parents by offering a user-friendly 5-in-1 Newborn Bundle so they can start saving for their child’s education right away.
Expanding support for families is part of the liberal governments plan says Wynee. She believes it will “Create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change.” The plan also includes the recently changed law to let everyone under 25 have access to free prescription drugs. Wyneses says things like free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and easier access to affordable child care are Liberals top priority .
- Investing $4 million to create,it will be one of the few in the world to offer a full range of highly specialized surgeries and procedures in utero.
- In 2016-17, midwives supported about 24,000 births across the province. Ontario is investing over $166 million in midwifery care to help up to 6,700 more families access midwifery care, bringing the annual total to about 30,000.
- Ontario is adding 82 new midwifery graduates to assist about 600 more families, as well as adding 22 midwives to join team-based health care providers who care for about 1,125 expectant families annually.
- The province is adding three more Indigenous midwives in Elliot Lake and Toronto to provide culturally appropriate and safe care to 190 more Indigenous families.
- Ontario is also enhancing support for expecting families by funding breast pumps for mothers of premature babies, to support the healthy development of these babies.
- Ontario is giving new parents a one-stop shop for everything they need to give their newborn a good start: Ontario.ca/newborn offers a 5-in-1 Newborn Bundle to request a birth certificate, apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), register for Canada and Ontario Child Benefits and begin the process of setting up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).
- Ontario is the first province to bundle registration for birth certificates and SIN numbers with an Education Savings Referral service.
- Ontario is also phasing in a screening program to test newborns for the risk of permanent hearing loss, so families can get treatment or support sooner. Newborn Screening Ontario screens all newborns in Ontario for a range of serious, treatable diseases, amounting to over 145,000 screens annually.
According to Dr. Newton every year, more than 5.6 million women and newborns die during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the first month of life. These deaths shatter families and communities. And, compounding the tragedy, they are almost entirely avoidable. 99% of the maternal deaths and 80% of the newborn deaths can be prevented with the right care.