Wednesday, July 01, 2009

1 July 2009

I want to mark this day, 1 July 2009.

In just twelve months from today privately practising midwives who don’t have insurance will be called ‘non-practising midwives’ under the new national Health Practitioner Registration laws. New arrangements will provide indemnity insurance for eligible midwives to practise other parts of midwifery, but NOT homebirth. Homebirth is the livelihood of self employed, privately practising midwives.

The new laws and provisions will potentially open up new freedom for midwives employed by hospitals; an item for celebration. Even homebirth may be provided by the hospitals - the insurance will be provided as part of the employer's vicarious liability arrangements.

It will be confusing and dangerous for consumers, and we need to do all we can to prevent this ill-thought-out health reform from progressing without amendment to enable a midwife to practise midwifery in any setting, which is fundamental to the international definition of the midwife.

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