Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A historic day today for Midwives in Australia

Today's legislation gives midwives the right to a Medicare number come the 1st November 2010, whether you are a supporter or not of the new legislation this is a monumental day… never in Australian history has such recognition be afforded to the profession of Midwifery.

It was good to listen to the proceedings in Parliament and hear the words 'midwife' 'midwifery' continuity of care' spoken so many times and in such a positive light and for the first time to hear the AMA take a bit of was truly exciting and it will be worth reading the transcript.......for prosperity...

The Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009

The Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contributions) Bill 2009

I have thought long and hard about this legislation and despite its short falls I still think it is a good place to start. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting an esteemed midwifery blogger who introduced me to a new way of contemplating this legislation, that being: it is a ploy by the AMA to manipulate midwives and midwifery through the process of collaboration, that this is what the government had planned all along and we as midwives were lambs to the slaughter…….. Although I am open to this suggestion ….. I like to believe other wise that the Health Minister had the best interest of women and midwives in creating this step towards the emancipation of midwifery and midwives to provide woman centred informed choice…. the freedom of choice, place of birth for women and access to a named midwife.

The fight must go on to define the terms’ collaboration’ and also defining ‘eligibility’ what is the ‘eligible midwife’. Midwives have the right to work autonomously and not be controlled by doctors or obstetricians…… Midwives are the expert in the ‘normal’ process of birth…… Homebirth is not illegal it is a reliable choice for women, for which they should be given the option….. And not controlled by the medical model. Someone recently said to me “rules are meant to be questioned, we should not follow blindly” and our cause is one such case…… we need to stand up and be counted…..we as midwives have the right to birth women at home if it is the woman’s choice and it is safe for her to do so…… We must remain vigilant, posed ready for battle to defend this right…… and make sure that the government, doctors and anyone else that may wish to deter us from being able to provide women with the freedom to choose what health care want.

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