Licensure requirements to practice as a midwife were established in 1957. Current authority is found at A.R.S. §§36-751 through 36-760. The licensing agency for midwifery is the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Licensing requirements for persons practicing as midwives were established in 1957. A midwife is a person who delivers a baby or provides health care related to pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum care of the mother and her infant. Midwives are required to be licensed to practice. Specific exemptions exist, including a person who delivers a baby as a result of an emergency situation or parents who deliver their own infant. In order to obtain a license, a person must submit an application and meet minimum qualifications outlined in statute and administrative rules.
The Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services administers and enforces provisions relating to licensing and regulating the profession. The Director may deny, suspend or revoke a license, take disciplinary action, conduct hearings and investigations, assess penalties and apply for an injunction.
Laws 1957, Chapter 45 established licensing requirements to practice as a midwife, authorized the State Board of Health to adopt regulations that would: outline the duties and limitations of a midwife; safeguard the health and safety of the mother and child; and provide qualifications to practice as a midwife.
Laws 1973, Chapter 158 established the Department of Health Services and transferred the powers and duties of the State Department of Health to the new agency. The purpose statement explained the new department would provide an integration of health services, reduce duplication, and provide a means to allow those with health problems to find a solution in a single department’s coordinated service. Section 1, Purpose.
Laws 1982, Chapter 162 outlined a process for the Department to grant a provisional license to practice midwifery. The license was valid for a maximum of two years, until the provisional licensee provided written documentation of the successful delivery of fifteen women in childbirth. Authority to issue a provisional license was limited to one year after the effective date of the act.
Laws 1990, Chapter 241 modified licensing requirements and exceptions; revised provisions related to hearings, disciplinary actions, injunctions, penalties, investigations, and confidentiality; and established maximum fees for licensing.
Laws 1996, Chapter 50 required the Director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to apply to the federal Health Care Financing Administration to allow licensed midwives to receive reimbursement for services.
Laws 2019, Chapter 195 adds a section providing for temporary licensure of health professions. ADHS is the licensing agency for certain health professions including radiologic technologists; clinical laboratories; midwives; and hearing dispensers, audiologists and speech-language pathologists. The new section 32-3124.A states in part: “A health profession regulatory board in this state may issue a temporary license to allow an applicant who is not a licensee to practice…”. The section sets specific requirements and authorizes the adoption of rules to carry out the new provisions. The new section 32-3124.I states: “This section applies to a health profession regulatory board to the extent that this section does not conflict with the board’s current statutory authority relating to temporary licensure.”
Laws 2019, Chapter 227 classifies the unauthorized practice of a health profession as a Class 5 felony. It requires regulatory boards to investigate complaints and authorizes them to issue cease and desist orders or refer complaints to the county attorney or attorney general for prosecution.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§36-751 through 36-760
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R9-16-101 through R9-16-116
- Session Laws
- Laws 1957, Chapter 45
- Laws 1973, Chapter 158
- Laws 1982, Chapter 162
- Laws 1990, Chapter 241
- Laws 1996, Chapter 50
- Laws 2019, Chapter 195 and Chapter 227
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 050 – Arizona Department of Health Services