HOMEBIRTHS will be driven underground by Rudd Government moves to force midwives to be insured. Some 200 midwives could be driven to practice clandestine homebirthing because they will be denied indemnity insurance, the Opposition says.
Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton said the Coalition backed women's choice of where a child was born but Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Health Minister Nicola Roxon were trying to drive the practice of homebirth underground.
“Does Mr Rudd really believe that by making homebirth illegal or for midwives making homebirth illegal to practice, that that will somehow stop the practice of homebirth,'' he told reporters.
Under proposed new laws, midwives must be insured in order to be registered.
But private insurers will no longer provide cover for homebirthing and the Federal Government has also refused to subsidise professional indemnity insurance for homebirth claims.
... In a statement released by her office, Ms Roxon said the Government recognised the important role played by qualified midwives in the birthing experience of many Australian women.
... "... [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.