Tuesday, May 12, 2009


From Justine Caines

Health Minister, Nicola Roxon has announced Medicare funding (access to the PBS) and indemnity insurance for midwives.


By Nov 1 2010, midwives will be able to practice in their own right, providing continuity to women Australia wide (with recurrent funding)

THIS IS A LANDMARK DAY for women and midwives.

Sadly at this stage homebirth is not covered.

Whilst I feel like we have achieved an amazing achievement the icing is not on the cake.

Women must be able to choose where and with whom they share the intimate act of birth.

The work of Homebirth Australia and Maternity Coalition will continue.

I believe homebirth will be funded, we just need to keep it out there.

To the women and midwives who have worked so hard for so long, Thank you.

We have achieved an amazing feat.

I hope to work alongside you into the future.

In solidarity


Budget statement
“The Government will provide $120.5 million over four years for the introduction of Medicare‑supported midwifery services to provide greater choice for women during pregnancy, birthing and postnatal maternity care. This measure includes $3.1 million in capital funding in 2009‑10 for Medicare Australia.

The new arrangements will allow midwives to work as private practitioners, provide services subsidised by the Medical Benefits Schedule and prescribe medications subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule. The Government will also provide subsidised medical indemnity for eligible midwives working in collaborative arrangements in hospitals and healthcare settings. To ensure that Australia maintains its strong record of safety and quality in maternity care, a safety and quality framework, including professional guidance and an advanced midwifery credentialing framework, will be developed. A new 24‑hour, seven‑days‑a‑week helpline will also be established to provide antenatal, birthing and postnatal maternity advice and information to women, partners and families during the ante‑natal period and up to 12 months following the birth of a child.

The measure will also assist women in rural and remote areas by expanding the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program to provide integrated outreach maternity service teams for women in under serviced areas. The expanded teams will include midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners and other health professionals, such as paediatricians and Aboriginal health workers. Additionally, funding will be provided for the professional development of midwives and for general practitioners to undertake additional training to become GP obstetricians or GP anaesthetists. The package will be implemented progressively from 1 July 2009. “

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