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Manitoba delaying end of birth alerts, Stefanson cites mounting pressure on health care system

Stock photo of the Manitoba legislature (CREDIT: CityNews)

WINNIPEG – Manitoba says it is delaying an end to a practice that allows hospitals to notify child-welfare agencies about new mothers who are deemed to be high risk.

Families Minister Heather Stefanson says the province is intent on responding to the spread of COVID-19 and now is not the time to implement a broad change.

She says in an email that ending birth alerts would put additional pressure on the health care system.

Provincial statistics show that newborn apprehensions occur, on average, once a day in Manitoba.

There are about 10,000 children in care in the province and about 90 per cent are Indigenous.

Stefanson, saying the practice would be discontinued in April, announced the phaseout of birth alerts earlier this year.

(The Canadian Press)