CANBERRA is reconsidering its controversial exclusion of home births from a new midwifery indemnity scheme ...
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon revealed yesterday she was looking at whether the government could accommodate home births in the $25 million indemnity scheme.
"I recognise that a very small proportion of women would like to have home births and (I) am currently investigating if there is some way that we can provide this as an option without making the proposed midwife indemnity insurance unaffordable," she said.
The scheme was welcomed by midwives, when announced in the May budget, as a precursor to next year's expansion of their powers to prescribe subsidised medicines, order publicly funded tests and claim Medicare rebates.
Private midwives had gone without insurance cover since the indemnity crisis at the start of the decade, putting their ability to practise at risk under a new national registration scheme for health professionals that also takes effect next year.
Fantastic news for home birth! With private midwives being scattered all across Australia, these changes will ensure that home birth remains a valid option for the majority of Australians.