The province is promising shorter wait times for pregnant women who have requested a midwife instead of a doctor.

Health Minister Christine Elliott was in St. Jacobs on Monday morning to announce $28 million in funding to expand midwifery services around the province.

“With more than 140,000 babies being born in Ontario each year, families are looking for more options when it comes to their birthing care,” she said. “That’s why our government is investing $28 million to expand midwifery services across Ontario.”

At the Woolwich Community Health Centre, between 40 and 60 women are on the waitlist.

The new funding, $1.2 million of which is slated for Waterloo Region this year, could help eliminate that waitlist entirely.

“It will mean we can expand and there are a lot of midwifery students that are looking to practice in the region,” says Rosslyn Bentley, the executive director of WCHC.

She says they hope to hire two more midwives with their funding.

The funding will go toward supporting new graduates entering the field, more Indigenous midwifery programming and updating technology for midwifery practice groups.

It’s not yet known when the funding will come into effect.