Friday, September 12, 2008

Meeting with Patrice

A recent meeting of MIPPs with Patrice Hickey, who is the Victorian President of the Australian College of Midwives

The following brief notes reflect some of the discussion at the meeting

  • Midwives’ right to make a living. Note that national regulation of health professionals will be in place July 2010. This will bring a lot of change nationally, as well as to the regulatory bodies for each profession.
  • Community midwifery. The 3 Tertiary units (Womens, Mercy, and Monash) are being progressively restricted in whose bookings they can take. Womens and Monash provide booking services for transfers from planned homebirth.
  • PERS Perinatal Emergency Retrieval Service. Headed by Dr Jackie Smith. Discuss hospital options particularly when there is a possibility that newborn intensive care services will be required.
  • ACM Midwifery Practice Review. Patrice encouraged all MIPPs to undergo the MPR on 3-yearly cycles, and for some to become reviewers. Meeting planned by ACM Thursday 2 October.
  • Consultation. Independent midwives need to consult with hospital registrars and senior medical and midwifery staff. The ACM National Midwifery Guidelines are a guide, but are not able to be used in a prescriptive or punitive way.
  • Federal government. Health Minister Nicola Roxon has established a maternity advisory committee.
  • Nurses Board. ACM will seek assurance that the Board will engage with ACM when midwives are under investigation, and that a midwife with relevant experience will be part of any investigation or hearing into a midwife’s practice.
  • Prescribing and Ordering for midwives. Qld health department is making progress in this area.
  • Access to public maternity hospitals. All public hospitals are required to accept all patients for whom they are equipped to provide services. Women who are planning homebirth and need emergency admission to a local hospital should be admitted unbooked. Sunshine Hospital is happy to make homebirth backup bookings.
  • Some midwives report that GPs refuse to order blood tests and investigations for women who plan homebirth. This is not acceptable.

Any unacceptable behaviour towards independent midwives or our clients by public hospitals, or by other health professionals, should be addressed in a professional manner. There is a lot of positive change in the system, and we need to move with it.

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