This is the pro-forma of the letter:
Director of Maternity Services
I am writing with reference to the recent health practitioner registration reforms, particularly in relation to eligible midwives being insured for the full scope of midwifery services including attending birth in hospital. The changes include the availability of government supported professional indemnity insurance for midwives, and being able to access Medicare provider numbers and limited prescribing and ordering of tests.
We understand that the reforms that impact on primary maternity services are intended to be consistent with the key principles developed by Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC 2008) “Primary Maternity Services in Australia – A Framework for Implementation. (Attachment 1). Midwives in private practice support each of these key principles, and look forward to being able to provide quality primary care for women who plan to give birth in hospital.
Members of Midwives in Private Practice (MiPP) and Australian Private Midwives Association are contacting all public hospitals to request details of how eligible midwives may proceed to apply for visiting access/clinical privileges. Would you please inform me of how your hospital is proceeding with implementation of the relevant changes, and the process for application and implementation of visiting access for midwives who are not employed by the hospital.
On behalf of MiPP
“Primary Maternity Services in Australia – A Framework for Implementation (AHMAC 2008)” articulated the following principles which underpin the range of models of maternity care available to women in Australia. These principles involve:
• ensuring services enable women to make informed and timely choices regarding their maternity care and to feel in control of their birthing experience
• ensuring that maternity services and care are provided in a culturally appropriate and responsive manner according to the individual needs of each woman
• maximising the potential of midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners and where appropriate other health professionals such as paediatricians and Aboriginal health workers specific knowledge, skills and attributes to provide a collaborative, coordinated multidisciplinary approach to maternity service delivery
• offering continuity of care, and wherever possible continuity of carer, as a key element of quality care
• ensuring that maternity services are of a high quality, safe, sustainable and provided within an environment of evidence ¬based best practice care
• ensuring continued access to best practice maternity services and care at the local level, while recognising that the benefits of local access must be considered within a quality and safety framework
• providing the right balance between primary level care and access to appropriate levels of medical expertise as clinically required
• working to reduce the health inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies and other disadvantaged populations.