Thursday, July 30, 2009

who are the rogue midwives?

Consumer activist Justine Caines has reported that Health Minister Roxon is becoming increasingly frustrated, as the community responds negatively to her plans to shut down private midwifery practice. Last night, as part of a “Community Cabinet”, she was said to be fairly dismissive and wanted to keep the line that this is a small number of women and there are ‘rogue midwives’ out there.

Who are the rogue midwives?

Does this small number of women not deserve to be heard?

Do the 2000 submissions to the Senate inquiry mean nothing? (only a few have been posted so far)

Yesterday, at a meeting of self employed midwives from Melbourne and surrounding communities, each one reaffirmed our desire to continue practising midwifery, as primary maternity care providers in a one to one partnership with women, promoting health for mothers, babies, and families. Several have stated that they cannot face returning to employment in hospitals that treat women and babies with a production line mentality. From a workforce perspective alone this will represent a terrible loss.

To my knowledge, there were no rogue midwives present.

Yes, there were some who would accept certain women planning homebirth who would not be 'allowed' to plan homebirth under the risk management policies of publicly funded homebirth programs in other States and territories. Those who have had previous caesareans, or who are having their 7th or 8th baby. Do these women have no rights of access to the care they believe will best meet their personal needs? These decisions are not made lightly. The positive outcomes of private midwifery care both in this State and elsewhere have been demonstrated time and time again.

The following appeared on the polical/media site

"The ability of the Rudd government to comprehensively overhaul the nation's health system must be seriously doubted when the Health Minister lacks the nerve to stand up to vested interests in the first cab off the rank -- maternity services reform. Nicola Roxon has set up a Maternity Services Advisory Group to implement the recommendations of the Maternity Services Review, which included giving some midwives access to the PBS and Medicare -- a move the Minister described as an "historic step forward for midwives".

"Surprisingly the advisory group includes no currently practising midwives. There are two representatives from the Australian College of Midwives and a midwifery academic, but no midwives who are actually working in the system (still a total of only three members representing the perspective of midwives). Compare this with the 11 members who are doctors and specialists and you start to see that it is highly unlikely that group will facilitate any comprehensive reforms."


We are experiencing socialist health policy on Prozac/Viagra/steroids/whatever - the lot!

Policy makers think they can put human lives into tidy pidgeon holes; imagine that all publicly funded maternity care can be simplified to what is acceptable to the loudest interest group.

People behind desks imagine they can, with the stroke of the legislative pen, overnight, bring in a new homebirth program that has not been tested, at the same time as they vilify and destroy the most basic and proven professional midwifery practice that has served the community through many generations.

The sad fact is that this is all being done under the guise of protecting the public through mandating professional indemnity insurance.

The predictable outcome will be more harm, more suffering in the maternity community.

We MUST object loudly and clearly to the attempt by our elected representatives to vilify midwives, and to discount and devalue women who employ a midwife privately.

PLEASE write to Health Minister Nicola Roxon or fax to 02 6273 4146.

Every person can write a brief message, telling her who you are. Include a photo. Women whose stories include birth outcomes which you experienced with a private midwife could include pictures if you wish. Midwives could highlight who you are, Mother, Grandmother, Midwife for X years etc; not a rogue midwife!

You can make sure that Ms Roxon is forced to reflect on her statements, and to amend her maternity reform legislation to protect the private practices of midwives.


Midwife Flora said...

How outrageous that there should be no midwives present on the committee!!! Normal pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are the MIDWIFE'S SPECIALITY. This is all fundamentally about power over big earnings and power over women's bodies.

Jenny Leach said...

Health Minister Roxon is beginning to sound like former US President George W Bush!