Senate backs visiting rights for private midwives
A senate motion has called on the health minister to facilitate access and admitting rights for privately practicing midwives to Australia’s public hospitals.
The senate has passed a motion calling for immediate action on the obstacles facing privately practicing midwives in Australia.
Last week’s senate motion called upon the government to work with states to resolve visiting access issues and to clear any other roadblocks preventing privately practicing midwives accessing Medicare and the PBS.
On November 1 2010, the government set aside $120 million for midwives in private practice to access Medicare and the PBS, but hardly any have been able to do so.
Dr Richard Di Natale, the Greens Spokesperson on Health, said the senate had recognised the issue and it was now up to the states to deliver.
"This situation has to change. Mothers want and expect continuity of care, not to have to say goodbye to their chosen midwife at the hospital doors,” he said.
"Because [private midwives] can't get visiting access rights, they can't be by their patients if they get admitted to public hospitals."
Australian Greens Senator and spokesperson for women Lee Rhiannon, said midwifery care Australia was well behind other nations.
"It is time governments across Australia joined together to enable midwives to properly do their work."
The motion called on the Minister for Health and Ageing to investigate any further support necessary for privately practicing midwives to transition into private practice, to work to their full scope of practice and access MBS and PBS benefits.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Midwifery care is the most comprehensive primary health care intervention that has improved outcomes for mothers and babies across the world. Australia has not had the advantage of comprehensive midwifery care because of a system of health care that excludes midwives from the primary care space for all but a few families who are able to pay for their services. Come on Australian Health Ministers how long are women and families to be disadvantaged because of powerful lobby groups.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
It's good to see the Senate acknowledging the roadblocks that we are facing. Midwives have a great potential to promote health and protect the wellbeing of mother and baby at the primary care end of the healthcare spectrum. We look forward to the day when midwives will be able to do our work properly. Visiting access to public hospitals is urgently needed. I am acting president of Australian Private Midwives Association http://australianprivatemidwivesassociation.blogspot.com.au/
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