Thursday, November 25, 2010

visiting access to public hospitals?

Midwives who are members of MiPP have been writing letters to the directors of their local public hospitals, enquiring about implementation of the government's reforms that will enable midwives to attend women privately in hospitals.

A draft of the letters is posted at this blog.

[click picture to enlarge]

The attached letter has been received in response to the MIPP letters to Box Hill and Angliss hospitals, which provide maternity services for women the Eastern and outer-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. This area, coincidentally, is also home to a considerable proportion of the midwives who are in private practice in Victoria.

Note that the hospitals are seeking legal clarification around the collaborative arrangements determination – “to make collaborative arrangements workable for everyone involved.”

Breaking down the medical monopoly as far as midwives' access to hospitals is concerned will be one of the most significant changes of the government's maternity reform. The marginalisation of independent midwives, and consequently of homebirth, has come about because there is no other place where midwives can enter private agreements to provide professional services for women.

Of course women planning homebirth and independent midwives can continue to use public hospitals as public patients for homebirth backup, but the option of a privately employed midwife who has clinical privileges in a hospital is a model of care that doesn’t exist in this country at present. It will take some courageous midwives, and the women who employ them, to be front runners.

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