TWO VERY IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITIES EXIST RIGHT NOW.
THE PUBLIC (THAT'S YOU AND ME) ARE INVITED TO COMMENT ON:
*1. Exposure draft of Exposure draft of Health Practitioner Regulation National Law 2009 (Bill B) by 17 July 2009.
"If you wish to provide comments on the exposure draft, please lodge a written submission in electronic form, marked Exposure draft, at email@example.com by close of business on Friday, 17 July 2009. Please note that your submission will be placed on the website after the closing date for all submissions unless you indicate otherwise." Communique - Ministers release draft legislation for National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
*2. Senate Inquiry into Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills.
The Committee invites you to provide a written submission which should be lodged by 20 July 2009. A public hearing will then be held later in July. The Committee prefers to receive submissions electronically as an attached document – email: firstname.lastname@example.org – otherwise by fax (02 6277 5829).
A couple of days ago I was speaking with a mother of four children, all born at home, who lives in a small rural Victorian town. An independent midwife in that town has been attending about 25 homebirths each year, and is loved and respected by her community. Without change to the Health Practitioner legislation and related Bills, these women will not be able to access homebirth from 1 July next year. Even though the Victorian Health Minister has made a public statement about publicly funded homebirth services to be offered in the near future, the only women who will be able to apply for that service will be those within a small radius of the city hospitals from which the model is managed.
This story is repeated time and again across the country. We must prevent the legislation denying midwives the right to practise independently in our communities from progressing any further without crucial changes being made.
We have just a few days in which to prepare our submissions. If my ideas or anything I have written on this blog, or at other sites, is of use in arguing these important points to the Senate or the government, please feel free to borrow liberally.
When you have prepared your submissions, please also send a copy to your State or Territory Health Minister, and your local MPs. Let them know how important the choice of a midwife who can work autonomously in the community, within her scope of practice, is to you.