Protests demand maternity care choice

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Thirty supporters of maternity care choice staged a sit-in inside the Lismore office of local federal MP Janelle Saffin on November 9. They said the federal government must end plans to require independent midwives to have indemnity insurance.

... the changes restrict women’s choice in maternity care because private insurers and the government have ruled out providing midwives with insurance for non-hospital births.

In response to these moves, a campaign in support of maternity care choice has sprung up, including a 3000-strong convergence on federal parliament on September 7.

... A government review is expected to introduce Medicare rebates for some midwifery services. However, ... amendments ... will require midwives to make “collaborative arrangements” with medical practitioners to qualify for rebates ...

... “In Holland, the option of ... homebirth is the choice of around one third of expecting mothers”, she said. “A recent major study showed no differences in adverse outcomes between home and hospital births ..."

O'Driscoll said: the “campaign is an important part of the struggle for women's rights and for a health system that puts people before profit”.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448