Friday, July 24, 2009


If you missed this program, you will be able to download the podcast here after about 2pm today.

There was some discussion on home birth, midwives, indemnity etc. As one midwife commented, "Sadly less time, less vigorous and less informed discussion than there was on climate change."

A woman who had given birth at her home 11 weeks ago (first baby) was accepted into the audience. This is her story from last night:

I submitted my question to Q&A a few days ago and went along tonight. When I got there they told me there would be no opportunity to ask it. I went and spoke to one of the organisers who said that homebirth would not be discussed on the program tonight so we thought stuff it, we’re not staying around if there’s no opportunity to talk about what we want to talk about.
We got home and watched the program and there you go – a question was raised about homebirth (and answered with the typical level of rehearsed spin by the minister).

Perhaps we need to let Media Watch know, Q and A’s title, Adventures in Democracy, doesn’t seem like it.

I am going to write to Media Watch about this and have already complained (via a phone message to the Qand A ‘audience producer)

As I listened to Health Minister Nicola Roxon I had to ask how can she be so poorly informed about these matters? She (Roxon) is articulate, intelligent, and with one hand she is overseeing the (beginning of the) dismantling of medicine's strangle hold on maternity care, by providing Medicare for midwives. Yet with the other hand she is pushing midwifery back many years, enforcing a supervision of midwives by medical overlords, and using weaselwords such as 'collaboration' in her spin.

Roxon: "But, to be completely honest, I do not think there is an easy way around, in the next couple of years, the completely independent midwife home birthing with no sort of back up with a GP, obstetrician or hospital."

Roxon went on to explain to the wide-eyed panel and audience that the midwife after 1 July next year will collaborate with GPs and obstetricians, and will make backup bookings at hospitals.

EXCUSE ME! WHAT DOES SHE THINK HAPPENS NOW??? Who is telling the Minister this nonsense?

There is a guest book for comments.

For your enlightenment, here are a few more gems of uninformed comment on maternity from this program:
NICOLA ROXON: "We are increasing opportunities for women to have more choice about how they have their children." - as long as you don't choose to employ a midwife privately.
NICOLA ROXON: "... a very small number of people do want the right to have their babies at home" - How many do you need to take notice of?
NICOLA ROXON: "If we try to include home birthing in that indemnity product, it may well be totally unaffordable ..." Be honest - the decision to exclude birth was made before anyone attempted to cost that indemnity (for a "very small number" remember) or obtain a product.
TONY JONES: "So just to confirm this, on this issue, women don't have the right to chose what to do with their own bodies, is that right?" NICOLA ROXON: "Women do have the right to choose." That's what she said!!!
CHARLIE TEO: "... our major concern is that if you bring in physicians' assistant and nursing aids and stuff, then the doctors are going to lose some of the control they have ..." who mentioned anything about physicians assistants and nursing aids and stuff, Charlie? Do you know what a midwife is? "... We don't support a system that doesn't allow medical backup." You might be a brilliant neurosurgeon, but you obviously haven't a clue about things maternity.

JULIAN MORROW: "I can understand that it's [homebirth] a choice that some women want to make. I mean, to summarise my position on this, I actually agree with the minister. It's not a question of a woman's right to choose, in the sense that it's not illegal to have a baby at home." or whatever!!! For a social commentator that's spineless.
NICK MINCHIN: "Look, on this subject I agree with Nicola." how's that for bipartisan agreement! "I think she's in the right space on this. I mean, my wife had our three children in hospital." so??? "I personally worry about home birthing. I think that's a very big decision to make and one that, you know, has real risks attached to it and I, frankly, personally, would encourage people to have their babies in hospitals with the proper medical care, and I sympathise with Nicola on this." Women will thank you Nick, for your conclusions based on your experience of three! And what are those real risks at home? How about the real risks in hospitals? And did Mrs Minchin give birth in an over-crowded public hospital?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: "The taxpayer ends up footing the bill if something goes wrong ..." That's true. The taxpayer is already footing the bill for the high cost of indemnity insurance for obstetricians, for at least twice as many caesareans than would be reasonable, for untold emotional suffering as women are robbed of their right to give birth and nurture their babies in harmony with their natural physiological processes.

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