Clients of eligible midwives midwives will be able to claim Medicare benefits for private midwifery care. As well as this, the midwife will be able to order tests and ultrasounds and prescribe medications.
Clients of eligible midwives will be able to have one-to-one midwifery care with their chosen midwife. Antenatal care may be provided in women's homes, clinics, hospitals and so on. Birth care will be provided in hospital and postnatal care will be provided at home.
Homebirthing women may be able to claim medicare benefits for antenatal and postnatal care, but not the birth. This will still represent a huge saving for families.
What do midwives need to do in order to be eligible?
My take on it is that the requirements bestowed on the midwife who wishes to become eligible will provide more safety and assurance for the public.
A summary of the draft is as follows:
To be entitled to endorsement as an eligible midwife, a midwife must be able to demonstrate all the following: a) Current general registration as a midwife in Australia with no restrictions on practice; b) Practice for at least three years across the continuum of midwifery care, within the previous 5 years; c) Successful completion of an approved professional review program for midwives working across the continuum of midwifery care; d) 20 additional hours per year of continuing professional development relating to the continuum of midwifery care; e) Compliance with the collaboration requirements for eligible midwives; f) Successful completion of: i. an accredited and approved program of study determined by the Board to develop midwives’ knowledge and skills in prescribing, or ii. a program that is substantially equivalent to such an approved program of study.
So an eligible midwife must have at least three years of experience across pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. The midwife must undertake a professional review program, attend at least 40 hours of continuing professional development per year, comply with collaboration requirements (not yet available) and complete an additional postgrad course in prescribing.
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