Women push for midwives under bulk bill reform

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

MIDWIVES cannot register fast enough to meet growing demand from women for services after historic changes that allowed them for the first time to bulk bill using Medicare ...

About 14 midwives have been registered ... since the changes took place in November, a spokeswoman for the college, Hannah Dahlen, said.

... women were increasingly demanding the services and her own practice was already booked out until September, she said.

In order to qualify for Medicare, midwives needed to work with a medical practitioner such as an obstetrician, or a GP who provided obstetric care ...

... Mrs Newman had found Mahli's birth easier than that of her daughter Isabella, which she attributed to the different style of care provided by her midwives.

"The way they got me to birth was really different; they weren't forcing me to push and it was much more relaxed," ...

I have calculated that there are at least 20 eligible midwives in the country. Collaborative arrangements are a pre-requisite for women to claim Medicare benefits, so it follows that not all of those midwives will be able to provide medicare-funded care, however demand for private midwifery care is certainly increasing. Enquiries about my own private midwifery service have doubled and women are booking-in for their care at a fast pace. Private midwifery care is certainly a very popular choice and now that Medicare funding has made is so much cheaper, women, babies and families can benefit. I have negotiated several options for collaborative arrangements - including a model of care that provides for continuity of private midwifery care with a known back-up obstetrician. This model is proving to be very popular. The first baby will soon be born under this wonderful model of care ... watch this space!

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448