Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What you need to do if you want to be a Private Practice Midwife in WA

Western Australia is unique in many ways, but particularly in the area of Midwifery, it is the only State in Australia where you have to declare your intention to practice midwifery as a private practitioner to the Health Dept. In principle I think it is important for the regulatory body to know who is practicing independently, however I think rules pertaining to this should be National, not state by state. However despite my personal views it remains that for WA you need to register your intention to practice privately (independently).Therefore it is important to take several steps:

1. Ensure you are eligible to practice midwifery
2. Be a registered midwife (NMBA - AHPRA)
3. Review recency of practice standards
4. There are no rules as to how long after registration that you can practice privately(exemption until July 2013)
5. Review Health Act Regulations 1914 Midwives Notification
6. Lodge the form to the Health Dept (your intention to practice) Notification
7. Secure Insurance (VERO or MIGA) all private practice midwives (independent) must have insurance
8. Review guidelines for insurance (NMBA - AHPRA)

Medicare for Midwives: for this you need to be an Eligible midwife (private/independent)

An eligible midwife has completed three years midwifery covering antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.

1. Complete Midwifery Practice Review (or equivalent) (ACM)

2. Review the application form for addition of notation as an eligible midwife
3. Currently registered as a midwife, with no restrictions

4. Current competence to provide pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care to women and their infants.

5. Midwifery experience that is equivalent to three years full time post initial registration as a midwife.

6. Formal undertaking to complete within 18mths - course for prescribing (course has to be approved by the Board)
7. 20 additional hours per year of continuing professional development relating to the continuum of midwifery care.

That's it, not much to do.....but please remember to register with the Health Dept your intention to practice privately. Also remember there is currently no insurance for Homebirth.
We need more eligible midwives, so please consider taking up the challenge, and offering women continuity of midwifery practice.

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