New Reforms Enable Australian Midwives To Be Eligible Benefits

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. Link

The Australian Senate has passed historic legislation that provides long deserved recognition of Australia’s highly skilled ... midwives.

These reforms will give nurse practitioners and midwives access to the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the first time.

These changes are a key plank in the Rudd Government’s health reform plans, funded through the$120.5 million maternity reform package. This reform improves the choices for Australian women to access high quality, safe maternity care as well as providing support for our talented midwives.

The legislation will also establish a new Government-supported professional indemnity scheme for eligible midwives.

... midwives wishing to provide treatment under Medicare and prescribe medicines under the PBS will need to demonstrate that they meet certain professional eligibility requirements and that they have appropriate collaborative arrangements in place.

The new professional indemnity scheme for eligible midwives will be available from 1 July 2010 and the new Medicare and PBS arrangements will be available from 1 November 2010.

Today marks a new era for our health workforce – ensuring smarter use of our skilled workforce, and more encouragement to work in multi-disciplinary teams.

This will help deliver better health and better results for patients.

As a Government, we are extremely proud to be delivering these changes – providing new and innovative options for thousands of women and the community.

It's wonderful that for the very first time, women will have easy access to continuity of care from the same midwife who is also able to obtain direct consultation if needed with an obstetrician. Within the private system, there is the potential for continuity of midwifery and obstetric care: book with a midwife, see an obstetrician perhaps once or twice in the pregnancy, and then if they are needed at the birth (or at anytime in pregnancy) the woman is attended by an obstetriaian that she knows and trusts, who works in partnership with her midwife.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448