Saturday, May 15, 2010

*NEW* Insurance options for midwives

The Australian College of Midwives has circulated to members information on new insurance options for midwives who provide private maternity care (excluding homebirth) and education.

"1. The Commonwealth supported insurance policy

Last week, Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced that MIGA (Medical Insurance Group of Australia) has won the contract to offer midwives professional indemnity insurance, with support by the Commonwealth under the Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contribution) Scheme Act 2010 and the Midwife Professional Indemnity (Run-off Cover Support Payment) Act 2010. Click here to see the Minister's press release.

The policy will provide insurance cover for eligible midwives for pregnancy and postnatal care in any setting, and for labour and birth care in a clinical [ie hospital] setting.

This policy will cost $7,500 per year for full time practice. Reduced rates will be available for caseloads that are less than full time.
The policy is not yet available to purchase, but is expected to be available very soon, and will definitely be available before 1 July 2010. You can read more about the policy by visiting MIGA's website, or ask questions by phoning them on Freecall 1800 777 156

"2 Vero insurance policy for pregnancy and postnatal care only
A second option for meeting the insurance requirements is to purchase a policy through an insurance agent called Mediprotect. ... The policy will cover pregnancy and postnatal care in any setting. It does not provide cover for labour and birth care in any setting.


Vero is an Australian insurer, regulated under the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. You can elect to have cover of $1million, $2million or $5million. Prices vary depending on the level of cover you choose and which state you live in (because of stamp duties), but because labour and birth care is excluded, this policy is less expensive than the Commonwealth-supported one with MIGA. Information about the Vero policy can be obtained from the Mediprotect website or by phoning Mediprotect on 07 3426 0440."

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The Vero insurance will cost a midwife between $1,830 p/a for a $1,000,000 cover, to $3,010 p/a for $5,000,000 cover. The excess on the policy is $2,500 (each and every claim).

Other possible insurance options, yet to be confirmed, will be available for members of some of the State branches of the union, Australian Nursing Federation (ANF). At present, all members of ANF in Victoria except independent midwives have professional indemnity insurance. Queensland Nurses Union has a similar member policy. It is anticipated that this member benefit will be extended to midwives' private practices, with the exclusion of home birth. If you are interested in this option, you should contact ANF.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is birth at home a human right?

Is there a human rights argument in the choice of place of birth?

Is our government failing in its human rights commitments, as a signatory to conventions such as United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women CEDAW, by maintaining the state-sanctioned discrimination against women who plan to give birth in their home?

Can you think of any other natural, physiological function of the human body for which we experience discrimination that seeks to force all to follow government-mandated management in hospital? What would our society do if similar discrimination was enacted for a uniquely MALE function?

These are some of the questions that are being asked. Your comments are welcome.

More discussion here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jenny Parratt - a midwife

Congratulations to Jenny Parratt, a midwife who lives in Mandurang Victoria, who is a founding member of Midwives in Private Practice (MiPP)

Professor Kathleen Fahy of the University of Newcastle (NSW), writes "I am thrilled to announce that Jenny Parratt has been awarded her PhD after examination with no correction and high praise. Her oversees examiners were in the UK, Professor Mavis Kirkham and A/Prof Dennis Walsh (very eminent in midwifery)."

Jenny writes:
My dissertation is focused on women's holistic wellbeing in terms of their changing embodied sense of self. It considers the way a woman's embodied sense of self changes during the childbearing period and the factors in childbirth that seem to be positively related to her improved sense of self.

Fourteen women answered questionnaires and told their stories of childbearing change; these stories have now been published (details below).

In the dissertation I establish how a person's embodied self is complex and continually changing relative to the various contexts of existence. I show how a woman's improved sense of self is related to the degree to which she is able to feel herself as an embodied whole and intrinsically powerful person. I use the concept 'genius change' to represent a woman's active and effortful use of intrinsic power, in addition to her developing trust in that power. The dissertation explains how midwifery factors that are unsupportive of a woman's improved sense of self, called 'habitual practices', undermine a woman's sense of her own power and encourage reliance on her usual responses to change. 'Empowering practices' are shown to be positively related to a woman's improved sense of self. These practices guide a woman to connect with and actualise her intrinsic power in new and previously unanticipated ways. The dissertation is significant for midwifery practice and education because it makes explicit how a midwife can optimise a woman's psychophysiological wellbeing in ways that uniquely suit the diverse requirements of each woman.

The women's stories are published as 'Parratt, J. (2009). Feelings of
change: Stories of having a baby. Raleigh:'. This book is available

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2010

Starting in New Zealand at midday Wed 5th May, the virtual celebration will proceed around the globe for the following 24 hours.

24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife May 5th 2010 [click for link]

Dr Deborah Davis (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia) and Sarah Stewart (Otago Polytechnic Education Development Centre, Dunedin, New Zealand) would like to invite you to celebrate International Day of the Midwife on May 5th 2010 by joining us at some stage during the 24 hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife event.

The problem with face-to-face events is that geography and time zones prevent many midwives meeting on an international level. However, online resources and tools such as Second Life, Elluminate and Skype allow midwives to meet, communicate, share information and resources in a far more flexible way than face-to-face meetings. Thus, this 24 hour virtual celebration of midwifery allows us all an opportunity to meet at some stage during the day, be it at 'live' or real time meetings or asynchronous sessions.