Monday, October 24, 2011

An open letter to Bridget Lynch, past President of ICM

This letter, written by midwife Robyn Thompson, is addressed to Bridget Lynch, immediate past President of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).  The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is a member organisation of ICM.

I was privileged to be introduced to, and speak with you Bridget at the Australian College of Midwives Conference on Thursday October 20th 2011 in Sydney. I was in the right place at the right time in midwifery history.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the reshaping of private midwifery practice

Private midwifery practice is undergoing real changes, as midwives who have Medicare provider numbers are able to offer certain midwifery services for which women will receive substantial Medicare rebates. 

There is scheduled fee for each item, from which rebates are calculated [variation in amount payable depends on a person's safety net]. For example:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Key issues for midwives

Referring to the development of visiting access arrangements for midwives in public hospitals (see previous post), the following comment has been offered by a highly respected 'elder' of the midwifery profession, Helen Sandner, from Bendigo.

I would just like to put forward a few key issues that I think are paramount for future discussions and consideration in the planning and implementation of a written document.
  • Midwives autonomy. In saying this I do not mean in a dictatorial way, but I believe that it is important to acknowledge that we are registered to practice as autonomous practitioners. It is only the Government that is putting us back under the auspices of the medical profession with the Collaborative Determination. 
  • Collaborative respect. We deserve equal respect and I would like to see this in writing. We are not underdogs or lesser professionals and this needs to be acknowledged and therefore we should be referred to in any document with the same level of professionalism as any other healthcare professional. 
  • Consent, informed decisions and right of refusal. All without saying the women should be the focus and these points should be acknowledged in any written document.
Helen Sandner
Midwifery Practice Coordinator
Central Victorian Midwifery Group Practice

Thursday, October 6, 2011

mipps and public hospitals in Victoria

Independent midwives in Victoria have for many years encouraged and guided women planning homebirth to make backup bookings with public hospitals. Those women who experience complications are referred to the back-up hospital. The midwife usually continues with the woman in labour, visits her in hospital postnatally, and picks up postnatal care after the woman and baby have been discharged. This process does not usually receive any special attention; it's just the way midwives work. Recent posts have discussed the midwife's role in hospital based intrapartum care.

A multi-disciplinary reference group has been brought together by the Health Department, to inform and support a process under which eligible midwives (ie midwives who have a notation on their registration that they are eligible for Medicare*) will be able to attend women privately in public hospitals.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Don't give up!

An opinion
Joy Johnston

I wrote in a recent email to fellow independent midwives, "Don’t give up! Midwifery has survived darker days than this one."
One younger midwife who received that post asked me what I meant. Was I referring to midwives being burnt at the stake, or similar historical atrocities?

Those dark days certainly rate high in the shame file. But, realistically, it's a long way removed from any midwife today.

Midwifery is the one health profession that challenges the medical/legal establishment at its core.  Midwifery enables women to get on with the job of being mothers without interruption, and will only seek treatments or interferences from outside sources (natural or pharmacological; alternative or mainstream) when complications present.