Sunday, 12 August 2012

Australian Government acts to give women greater access to midwives and improve care!

An important update on the outcome of the Standing Committee on Health in regards to midwifery care.  So exciting to see this sensible development.  I know many people have been working tirelessly on getting the government to understand the issues.  My deepest gratitude to you all.

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 August 2012
Contact: Liz Wilkes 0423 580 585

Standing Committee on Health Decision will give women greater access to Midwives and improve Care.

Today’s decision by the Standing Committee on Health to enable midwives to collaborate with hospitals rather than individual doctors provides a welcome relief to Medicare provider midwives struggling to provide Medicare funded care to women.

“Until now government policy designed to provide women with Medicare access to private midwifery care has been to date severely restricted by obstetricians not wanting to be involved” said Liz Wilkes President of Midwives Australia.

“The recognition from every Health Minister across the country that midwives work collaboratively with doctors in hospitals and do not need individual doctor sign off is entirely appropriate. We applaud the sense they have shown” said Ms Wilkes

Midwives Australia has seen the legislation requiring midwives to collaborate with individual doctors has created unnecessary administrative burden and has created opportunity for medical veto over women’s access to Medicare rebates.

“What we are seeing here is the opportunity for midwives to develop license agreements and contracts with hospitals which enable true collaborative practice to continue”

“The whole hospital system relies on obstetricians being in the right place to deal with referrals of women. It is not a change in safe practice.”

“Midwifery care should not and does not require the presence of an individual doctor at a tertiary hospital when many other doctors are on staff, what matters is that there is a doctor present who is able to accept referral and transfer as doctors are employed to do this on a daily basis.”

“This week a Melbourne study found the care of a known midwife reduced the need for a caesarean section and actually improved outcomes. It is comforting to know that all Health Ministers agree on the need to make the care of a known midwife more accessible to Australian women.” said Ms Wilkes.

 We hope you will find it informative.

Best regards,
Midwives Australia

Thanks Liz Wilkes for this update! 

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