AMA boss denies bar on midwives

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

THE head of Australia's peak doctors' group has rejected claims obstetricians are obstructing midwives' attempts to see their own patients, saying the first agreement permitting this has just been signed ...

Andrew Pesce, an obstetrician and president of the Australian Medical Association, said he signed the agreement with a Sydney midwife last week, and had all but sealed a deal covering a group of midwives.

... Dr Pesce conceded some obstetricians were unhappy with the changes, but added the new system could work well with fewer specialists around the country who were willing to participate. Under the changes, introduced on November 1, eligible midwives were allowed to see patients privately under Medicare, provided specific conditions were met.

I am proud to be that "Sydney midwife" who has an agreement with a private obstetrician to provide care to women. I believe we are the first private midwife / private obstetrician practitioners in Australia to have successfully negotiated a collaborative agreement. Our model ensures that women have care that is suited to their needs, covering everything from waterbirth to caesarean with no need for a transfer between models of care. Each woman has her care with her chosen midwife (complete with Medicare funding) and also has a known and trusted obstetrician available if her pregnancy or birth take a different path. Our model builds on Australia's excellent record of safety in pregnancy and birth and provides continuity of care with the private midwife and obstetrician of the woman's choice.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448