Giving midwives the power to bill consultations to Medicare and write scripts subsidised by the PBS will enhance maternity services for country women, rural doctors say.
... welcomed the new powers for midwives, who play a key role in maternity services in the bush already.
Under changes made in the budget, midwives will now be able to bill Medicare for their consultations. Their patients will be able to access cheaper medicines because midwives now have access to the PBS.
They will also be subsidised for professional indemnity insurance if they work in a hospital or birthing centre.
"Birthing services are extremely important in rural communities. We know that they're valued by the rural women and their families," Dr Maxfield told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
"If we can have a patient seeing either the midwife or the GP, depending on who is the appropriate person at the time, then that's going to benefit the patients and free the GPs up to be able to see other people.