Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Read whats going to happen to our practice as Midwives:

Time to be proactive Midwives:

There are several draft laws (Bills) currently being discussed in Federal Parliament that, if passed, will:

· Give eligible midwives the opportunity to provide care (that is free to women) with Medicare funding.

· Provide eligible midwives with professional indemnity insurance for their work.

· Give midwives who have held professional indemnity insurance 'run-off cover', which means that if a claim arises from a woman that you have provided care for (even if you are have retired or ceased work) then you will be covered.

The College is actively discussing the details of these draft laws with Government, with other political parties and with doctors' groups, nursing groups, and consumer groups. There is currently a Senate Inquiry into these draft laws, and the College has submitted a paper which focuses on the lack of access to professional indemnity insurance for midwives wishing to care for women who plan to birth at home. The College is satisfied with all other aspects of these draft laws, except for this exclusion of homebirth.

The Government has formed a Maternity Services Advisory Group, which will meet for the first time of the 1st August 2009. The Australian College of Midwives has two representatives on this group. This Committee will be responsible for advising Government of the detailed implementation of the Maternity Services reforms.

If you are interested in looking at these Bills then click here -

Inquiry into Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills

NB. The 'Explanatory Notes' accompanying each Bill may give you a better feel for what the Government is proposing, as the Bills themselves use quite complex political jargon.

If you would like to view the College's submission to the Senate Inquiry, please click visit the College website -, then go to College Submissions, Maternity Services Review, Senate Inquiry Submission.

Australian College of Midwives

posted by Pauline C

Monday, July 6, 2009

One midwives view, on Homebirth! what do you think?

This was the conversation I had with a colleague, this is what she had to say about the issues surrounding homebirth. I am urging open discussion what do you think? have your say!

"Went to a talk by Paul Keating this week - interesting. He talked about "BIG picture" thinking, he related it to his governments initiatives around APEC. I felt it related to us and what is happening now.

It seems to me that women (and midwives) need to consider what they want for maternity care in 5 - 10 years time. Nothing happens quickly - in this state (WA) it took us 12 years of lobbying towards a clear "big picture" goal to get a change in legislation's that meant we could provide a direct entry route midwifery course. This didn't come without some pain.

I can't help but think that this is what is needed now - "big picture" thinking. We need to develop a strategy in which homebirth becomes an option that is offered by mainstream maternity services - like in many other countries. If that means a little pain in the short term, particularly around the impact of the indemnity requirements for national registration on private practice - well that may be the short term price we need to pay. As long as we keep our eyes on the "big picture" I feel we can weather the storm.

We need to grasp the medicare provider numbers and lobby STRONGLY - for homebirth and other models of midwifery care to be part of mainstream maternity services. One we have more runs on the board (yes I know the evidence is there already - but we are asking the majority of Australians to make a significant shift in their beliefs) - in terms of outcomes ....... then we launch our insurance offensive.

I think we need to acknowledge that these are interesting political times for women and the midwifery profession - and we need to focus our energies in battles we can win - and then when things are progressing launch our next offensive.
My dream is that my sons and their partners will have greater access to a range of maternity models in which to birth their babies".


Homebirth rally! Canberra September 7th 2009: Virtual and Real!

For all those women and midwives interested in doing something to save homebirth you can attend a rally in Canberra see the details her or go to the Homebirth website (Homebirth Australia) for the Rally in Canberra when is it:

WHEN: Sept 7th @ 11.30am
WHERE: outside Parliament House, Canberra

You can register your commitment to attend on face book

Unfortunately I can not attend, however you can be part of this rally by being a Virtual Rallier what a great idea!

Be a ‘virtual rallier’. For every person who is unable to attend we are organising a virtual rally in conjunction with our ‘live’ rally. Pledge $25, send us a head shot, your name and location and 25 words or less that you want the politicians to hear. We will mount your head shot onto a cardboard pregnant belly with your message, which will be attached to bamboo and will be placed in the ground outside Parliament House. Your pledge will go towards the cost of your cut and our continuing campaign.

see you all at the Homebirth rally, virtual or real.