Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update on private midwifery in Victoria

If you are interested in the national private midwifery scene, or trying to locate a midwife outside Victoria, please go to the APMA blog.

For links to websites of private midwives, scroll down this page to web links.

To locate a midwife in Victoria, go to the MIPP list at Maternity Coalition. Alternatively, you can leave a comment at this blog.

Midwives who have received notation as being eligible for Medicare provider numbers have reported to the group on their experiences.

Hospital visiting access for midwives:
There is no Victorian hospital at which a private midwife can attend her clients as a visiting midwife, despite the government-supported indemnity insurance plan that midwives have purchased at great expense. We understand that the Victorian Health Department has given funding to the 3 Centres group to sort out hospital visiting rights/clinical privileges for eligible midwives - a project that may report at the end of this year. Midwives who go to hospital with their clients are doing so without any professional recognition.

Medication course:
Although midwives sign an undertaking to complete a medication course within 18 months of being eligible, there is no university with an approved course for midwives. One member is doing the Nurse Practitioner course in Pharmacology from Flinders, SA, with the hope that that will be acceptable as an equivalent. However Victorian legislation needs to be amended before midwives are able to prescribe.

Collaborative arrangements and referrals:
Midwives in some rural areas are having more success than those in Melbourne. Doctors who are willing to sign such forms have been advised by their insurers that they should not do so. Some obstetricians are happy to sign for planned hospital birth with midwife support, but not for homebirth.

Jan Ireland and Kelly Langford are opening rooms in Kensington in August. Jan is keen to support other midwives who want to become eligible.

Difficulties are being experienced around explaining Medicare to clients, issues with indemnity insurance, and the low number of Medicare claims from Victoria.

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