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Home :: Blog :: Blog :: International Midwives Day: use Rudd health dollars to address shortage

International Midwives Day: use Rudd health dollars to address shortage

On International Midwives Day Greens MP and health spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on Premier Kristina Keneally to ensure that a significant amount of the Rudd health money earmarked for NSW is used to boost the numbers of midwives.

“Ms Keneally should be a strong backer of maternity reform as increasing the number of midwives and nurses is an effective way to free up hospital beds for those who are genuinely unwell,” Ms Rhiannon said.

“NSW could provide a nationwide lead by developing a more sophisticated midwifery workforce strategy to address shortages of midwives across NSW.

“Strong backing from the highest level of government for an expanded midwifery system is needed if health reform plans are to be effective.

“Women are keen to have access to more midwife-based models of care, but the shortage of midwives in NSW, particularly in rural areas, is limiting this choice.

“Midwives are known to provide extremely safe and high quality care, providing continuity over the pregnancy, birthing and post natal period.

“More midwives providing these services frees up hospital beds for those who need them.

“While some work has been done by the NSW government to increase the number of midwifery places numbers still need boosting.

“A government priority in any health reform plans needs to include a commitment to statewide practitioner access for new Medicare funding for private midwives.

“In an era where we are short of health professionals and hospital beds, providing increased access to midwives and reducing the medicalisation of birth where we can is a win win for families, babies, the health system and the economy.

“Medical intervention in childbirth has risen dramatically in Australia over the last decade, with NSW now having the highest birth intervention rate in history.

“We are seeing caesarean rates of up to 36.4 percent for privately insured patients.

“Boosting resources to support community-based midwifery and continuity of care makes sense to most women and will only serve to improve the health system in NSW,” Ms Rhiannon said.

http://www.leerhiannon.org.au/

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon at Sydney Rally, National Day of Action, 18 February 2010 (Credit Britt Louwrens)

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon at Sydney Rally, National Day of Action, 18 February 2010 (Photo Credit Britt Louwrens)

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One Response to “International Midwives Day: use Rudd health dollars to address shortage”
  1. Janna

    I could not agree with this article and it’s overall view any more. I am a stay at home mother of two, extremely keen to get into university to complete a bachelor of midwifery – it’s my passion. I live in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW, and have just completed a course, enabling me to get into university. Unfortunatley, the only Uni to offer midwifery externally is Uni of South Australia – isn’t that obsurd! However, just yesterday, I got online to confirm a few details and work on my application, only to be devastated by the news that the Uni of SA, as of next year, will no longer offer the course externally. Such a disappointment after all I have gone through in order to begin my new career. Studying externally was going to be difficult, now the possibility of studying at all is becoming less and less every day. It seems so ridiculous that between Tweed Heads and Newcastle, there is nowhere that offers midwifery on campus. Coffs Harbour has an extremely busy maternity ward and I’m certain the calling is massive. There is such a shortage of midwives, something must be done in order to support them, and increase numbers. Make courses more accessable for new students. How about courses available through individual maternity centres? After such disappointment, I am inspired and motivated to do whatever it takes, and have my voice heard. Thank you.

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