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Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE PRACTICE OF MIDWIFERY
1. This Act may be cited as the Midwifery Act.
RSN1970 c235 s1Back to Top
2. In this Act,
(a) "board" shall mean the Newfoundland Midwifery Board constituted under this Act; and
(b) "minister" shall mean the Minister of Health.
RSN1970 c235 s2Back to Top
Nfld. Midwifery Board
3. (1) There shall be a board to be called the Newfoundland Midwifery Board, which shall consist of not less than 7 nor more than 10 persons to be appointed by the Minister of Health.
(2) The Deputy Minister of Health shall be, and the holders of the other offices in the Department of Health, being medical practitioners or graduate nurses may be, appointed to the board by their names of office, and shall cease to be members of the board upon relinquishing their individual offices.
RSN1970 c235 s3Back to Top
Miscellaneous provisions regarding board
4. (1) Members of the board shall hold office for 3 years from the date of appointment and upon the expiration of the term a new board shall be appointed to hold office for 3 years.
(2) A member of the board whose term has expired is eligible for reappointment.
(3) The minister may make appointments to fill vacancies on the board and the persons so appointed shall hold office until the expiration of the term for which the then members hold office.
(4) Four members of the board form a quorum.
(5) The board may act notwithstanding a vacancy in its number, provided the remaining members constitute a quorum.
(6) The minister shall appoint 2 of the members to be chairperson and secretary of the board respectively.
(7) In the absence of the chairperson or secretary the members present at a meeting shall elect a temporary chairperson or secretary.
(8) The members of the board shall serve without renumeration but a member resident more than 3 miles from the place of meeting may be paid the reasonable expenses of his or her attendance at the meeting.
RSN1970 c235 s4Back to Top
5. (1) The board may make rules, subject to the approval of the minister, for
(a) regulating their own proceedings;
(b) regulating the admission of women to be certified as midwives, and the qualifications for the admission;
(c) fixing fees to be paid for examinations and certificates;
(d) the conduct of examinations for certificates;
(e) defining the causes for which a midwife may be temporarily suspended from practice or struck off the roll of licensed midwives; and
(f) regulating and restricting within limits the work which may be performed by midwives, and defining the emergencies in which a midwife shall be bound to call in a registered medical practitioner where available.
(2) The board may
(a) appoint examiners;
(b) decide upon the places where, and the time when, examinations shall be held, and hold the examinations; and
(c) issue licences to practise as midwife, which shall be signed by the chairperson of the board and counter-signed by the Deputy Minister of Health.
RSN1970 c235 s5Back to Top
Roll of midwives
6. (1) The board shall from month to month keep a correct roll of midwives containing the names of all who have been licensed under this Act, giving the date of registry and setting out in each case the qualifications upon which the licence was granted.
(2) The roll of midwives shall be published by the board in the Gazette in the month of January in each year.
RSN1970 c235 s6Back to Top
Proof of qualification
7. The production of a licence purporting to be signed by the chairperson of the board and counter-signed by the Deputy Minister of Health shall be, in absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence in all courts that the woman named in the licence is certified under this Act but the certificate of the chairperson of the board that the woman whose name appears in the roll of midwives has been struck off, shall be, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence in all courts of the striking off.
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Suspension and striking off rolls
8. (1) The board may suspend for a fixed time, or strike off the roll, subject to the approval of the minister, a midwife for disobeying a rule or regulation made under this Act, or for other misconduct connected with her profession and duty as midwife, and may also restore her name to the roll, subject to similar approval but a person shall not be struck off the roll without full inquiry into the facts and being given an opportunity to be heard before the board or a medical health officer in her own defence.
(2) The Department of Health may pay all or a part of the expenses incurred by a midwife who may be required to appear before the board or a medical health officer in her own defence and against whom the charges the subject matter of the inquiry have not been sustained.
(3) A woman whose name is ordered to be struck off the roll shall within 14 days from the notification to her of the order surrender her licence to the secretary of the board, and if she fails to do so shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $25 or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 1 month.
(4) A woman thinking herself aggrieved by the decision of the board removing her name from the roll may appeal to the Trial Division within 3 months after the notification of the decision to her; but no further appeal shall be allowed.
RSN1970 c235 s8; 1986 c42 Sch ABack to Top
Delimitation of areas
9. The minister may by public notice published in the Gazette declare that the next following section of this Act shall come into effect within an area defined and delimited by the notice at a date stated in the notice, which shall not be less than 30 days after the publication of the notice; and upon the date so stated the section shall come into effect and have effect accordingly.
RSN1970 c235 s9Back to Top
Control of midwifery within areas
10. From and after the date stated in a notice referred to in section 9, and within the area in the notice defined and delimited
(a) a woman who not being certified under this Act shall take or use the name or title of "midwife", either alone or in conjunction with another word or words or a name, title, addition or description, implying that she is certified under this Act, or is a person specially qualified to practise midwifery, or is recognized by law as a midwife, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $25 or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days;
(b) a woman shall not either habitually or for gain or reward attend a woman in child-birth otherwise than under the direction of a registered medical practitioner, unless she holds a valid and unsuspended certificate under this Act, and a woman so acting while not holding a certificate or while under suspension, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50 or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 2 months; but nothing in this paragraph shall prevent anyone from rendering assistance without fee or reward in a case of emergency where no medically practitioner or certified midwife is available; and
(c) a certified midwife whose certificate is suspended and who shall attend a woman in childbirth in a capacity, whether gratuitously or otherwise, while the suspension continues, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $50 or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 2 months.
RSN1970 c235 s10Back to Top
Midwife to give notice of intention to practise
11. Every woman certified under this Act shall before practising in a district, give notice in writing of her intention so to do, and of the address at which she resides to the Deputy Minister of Health, and shall give like notice in the month of November in every year afterwards; and a woman practising without having given notice in accordance with this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5 or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 7 days.
RSN1970 c235 s11Back to Top
12. (1) The Minister of Health on recommendation of the board or otherwise may appoint 1 or more supervisors in or for the towns, places or districts as the board shall determine, who shall be either registered medical practitioners or graduate nurses.
(2) It shall be the duty of the supervisors
(a) to exercise general supervision over all midwives practising within their respective districts in accordance with the rules laid down under this Act;
(b) to investigate charges of malpractice, negligence or misconduct, on the part of midwives practising within their respective districts, and to report the same to the board;
(c) to suspend a midwife from practice for a period not exceeding 7 days, if in the opinion of the supervisor the suspension appears necessary in order to prevent the spread of infection; and to report the suspension and the causes for the suspension to the board immediately;
(d) to report at once to the board the death of a midwife or a change in the name or address of a midwife in their respective districts; and to report the name of a woman practising midwifery without a certificate; and
(e) to supply to the board by November 30 of each year, the names and addresses of all midwives who during the preceding year have notified the supervisors of their intention to practise within the respective districts of the supervisors and to keep a current copy of the roll of midwives posted up in some public place or places in the district.
RSN1970 c235 s12Back to Top
Emergencies; conduct of midwives in
13. (1) In an emergency, as may be defined in the rules of the board under this Act, a midwife shall call to her assistance a registered medical practitioner and the fee for the practitioner in the case of a person proven and certified to be unable to pay, shall be borne by the Department of Health on a scale to be settled by the minister.
(2) The midwife shall report immediately to the local supervisor or to the Deputy Minister of Health, each case of emergency in which she has called a registered medical practitioner to her assistance, stating the nature of the emergency and the name of the medical practitioner.
(3) The local supervisor shall notify the board monthly of the cases as occur under subsection (1).
(4) The Minister of Health or some person authorized by him or her shall have power to recover the fees as a debt due to the Crown from the patient or from the husband or other person liable to maintain the patient.
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14. The board shall at the end of each calendar year make a report to the minister of its proceedings for the year.
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Fraud, etc., in connection with certificates
15. A woman who procures or attempts to procure a certificate under this Act by making or producing or causing to be made or produced, a false or fraudulent declaration, certificate, or representation, either in writing or otherwise, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall, on conviction, be liable to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding 12 months.
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Falsification of roll
16. A person wilfully making or causing to be made a falsification of the roll of midwives shall be guilty of an offence, and shall upon conviction be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 12 months.
RSN1970 c235 s17
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