More midwives needed: ACM

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Australia is around 2000 midwives short and the world needs 350,000 more midwives, according to the Australian College of Midwives (ACM).

... Australia was home to one of the highest caesarean rates in the developed world and has limited access to continuity of midwifery care models that improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

"We want to see mothers and babies getting the support they need through increased global and local commitment to midwifery services," she said.

Ms Martin said around 30 midwives have now become eligible midwives in Australia with access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the PBS.

"In 2010, women and midwives welcomed in a new era in maternity reform in Australia that brings promise," she said.

"From November 2010, for the first time in Australian history, women have been able to choose their own midwife for pregnancy, birth in hospital and for the postnatal period, and to access Medicare rebates for care from the midwife of their choice.

"We hope to see this model of care expand significantly in the next few years."