In 2010, The Federal, State and Territory Health Ministers pledged their commitment to implementing a 5 Year National Maternity Services Plan.
A key priority of this plan is the credentialling of Medicare-eligible midwives at public hospitals. As outlined in a Media Release from Maternity Choices Australia this week, this new option has now been established at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH).
Whilst this is a wonderful step in the right direction, and will provide more pregnancy and birth care options for the women of north Brisbane, there is still more work to be done.
With only 1 year left to go with the Plan, only 7 other public hospitals, all in Queensland (Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Nambour, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Redlands and Logan Hospitals), have made this option available to women.
“Maternity Choices Australia estimates that each birth with a private midwife saves the Government up to $2000. Over 1000 women in Queensland having birthed with private midwives since Toowoomba Base Hospital credentialed the first Medicare-eligible midwife over three years ago; this represents a saving of up to $2 million for the Queensland State Government.” - Maternity Choices Australia
Maternity Choices Australia (MCA) has started an online campaign encouraging the Federal, State and Territory Governments to honour the commitment that was made to Australian women.
“This is an option all women should have access to. We encourage all hospitals to put the systems in place to give the full range of maternity care choices to women in their communities” said Leah Hardiman, President of Maternity Choices Australia (MCA).
There is more that can be done to improve access to continuity of midwifery care by credentialling Medicare eligible midwives at public hospitals.
If you feel as strongly about this as we do, and would like to help make our voices heard, can you please consider signing this petition and sharing with your friends and colleagues to help bring about more change. https://www.communityrun.org/petitions/improve-women-s-access-to-high-quality-maternity-care-with-medicare-eligible-midwives
We have received some exciting news from Maternity Choices Australia (MCA).
The Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital (RBWH) has now established full practice and visiting rights for Medicare Eligible Midwives!
What does this mean for you?
Essentially, if you live in the RBWH's catchment area, you are now able to access care from Private Midwives, who are able to provide pregnancy care in the community, labour and birth care at the RBWH, as well as postnatal care at home – and it is all rebatable by Medicare.
“This is great news for northside Brisbane women.
This new initiative falls in line with the recommendations from the Metro North Perinatal Health and Maternity Services Forum, which was held in March this year.
This is an amazing step forward, and we would like to extend our congratulations and heartfelt thanks to everyone who was involved in bringing about this valuable change, and increasing the options available to the women of north Brisbane.
If you would like to read more about this initiative, please feel free to view and download the full Media Release from Maternity Choices Australia here : http://www.maternitychoices.org.au/media-releases.html
Our FBC Committee Members will keep you updated on the various fundraising, consumer representative and information events they participate in during the year.