Thursday, March 5, 2009


What can I do in response to the Report of the Maternity Services Review?

This is a question that many are asking. Anyone coming to this blog is likely to have some interest in midwives private practices and homebirth. Many of you will have written submissions to the Review. Please:
1. go to the Report and compare what you said in your submission with what is recommended in the Report. Then write to the Health Minister telling her how the Report has ignored consumer preference and informed choice, and sidestepped evidence in support of the opinion of powerful professional lobby groups.
2. contact your maternity groups - Maternity Coalition or professional, and find out what response is being made to the Report and its recommendations.
3. be ready to respond with Letters to Editors of news papers, as well as blogs to opinion pieces, such as The Australian and ABC Radio UNLEASHED Note that there are 133 comments in response to Alison Leemen's piece 'Homebirth Ban' which went to air only a week ago! Homebirth and private midwifery practice are issues that our community cannot afford to ignore. As Leemen says,
"The government can't ban homebirth any more than it can ban sex, but by banning professional, registered midwives from attending homebirths, it greatly increases risk.

"Not funding homebirth is just bad policy: cost-ineffective to Australian taxpayers and unfair to Australian women. But making homebirth illegal is paternalistic, internationally isolated and dangerous."

Now is the time for everyone who cares about homebirth and autonomous midwifery practice to take action. If we don't, we stand to lose what little access we have.
Joy Johnston

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