About Maternity Coalition

Maternity Coalition acts as an umbrella organisation to bring together support groups and individuals for effective lobbying, information sharing, networking and support in maternity services. Maternity Coalition believes in the importance of women uniting their efforts and sharing skills and resources to achieve beneficial changes in the health care system in the interests of improving birthing services so women are able to choose where, how and with whom they give birth. Maternity Coalition supports consumer and midwife participation at all levels of health policy planning, decision-making and service delivery.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Remove the medical veto over women’s access to midwifery care

The Roxon Maternity Reform Agenda
In May 2009 the Government announced long-awaited reforms to Australia’s maternity care system, to give women better “choice and access” in their maternity care:

    * Medicare rebates for women receiving care from expert midwives

    * A solution to midwives’ professional indemnity insurance problems

    * Boosted funding for rural maternity services

    * $120.5 million new funding

These reforms promised to greatly improve women’s control, choices, continuity of care and access to community-based care, in the most significant reform yet to the Medicare system.

The Medical Veto
After months of intense pressure on Government from wealthy medical interest groups, regulations gazetted in July 2010 now require each Medicare payment for midwifery care to have a form of approval from a doctor.

    * Control of taxpayer’s health dollars has been taken from women and families, and handed to millionaire specialist doctors.

    * Anti-competitive influence imposed on the health care market, giving one group of providers control over consumer access to another group of providers of the same business service.

    * Midwives subject to defacto “parallel regulation”, with doctors and regulators setting different conditions for midwifery practice.

    * “Collaborative arrangements” required by regulations cannot be made with hospitals, even though most private midwives consult and refer to hospitals rather than individual doctors.

    * The requirements do not improve “safety”, “access” or “continuity” for Australian mothers.

Fix this for women and families!
    * Remove requirements for permission from a doctor from Medicare for midwives legislation.

    * Ensure that women’s rights to choice are protected in all legislation, guidelines and standards.

    * Give women continuity of care through visiting rights for midwives in public hospitals.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to see MC national setting up this blog.
    I have linked it to http://midwivesvictoria.blogspot.com/
    The efforts Maternity Coalition has made over many years to correct the funding inequities in Australia's maternity care. This government's offer of Medicare does nothing to address those inequities; gives the doctor the power of veto over basic decisions that a woman and her midwife currently make, and creates a new Medicare midwife whose is subservient to a doctor.
    As much as I would love to see public funding for women who choose a midwife primary carer, the current Determination, and the whole Medicare package, does nothing to address funding inequities, and should (imho) be scrapped. I have written more about MC's role in this action at http://villagemidwife.blogspot.com/2010/09/medicare-funding-carrot-or-poisoned.html