I have now completed my application for 'notation' on the midwives register, as a midwife eligible for Medicare. My CV has been adapted to comply with the AHPRA standard, and copies of documents need to be certified as correct, also in compliance with the required standard.
This process has been a challenging one for me. A few of my trusted colleagues and friends wonder why I would even try to become 'eligible'. By accepting a terribly flawed process, am I not supporting our society's attempts to medicalise women's lives, and to give a veto power to the medical profession over midwifery and women's choice of physiological birth?
Readers who have followed this process will understand that the decisions midwives must make are complex.
I have come to a pragmatic point of acceptance:
... that the government has enacted a process for certain midwives to be eligible for Medicare.
The person who will benefit from my being eligible for Medicare is the woman, not me. The woman will be able to claim back some of the fee I charge - possibly one third for planned home births, and more if and when I am able to attend a woman privately for hospital birth.
I will seek to do all in my power to prevent this process from taking away a woman's freedom, or working under medical supervision in primary maternity care.
There are several hoops to jump through yet, and it may be a couple of months before I hear back from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia if my application is successful.