The Greens are calling on the health minister to urgently fix the issue of insurance for midwives, who are currently unable to provide critical care for women and people in early labour.
Birthing on country initiatives are being particularly impacted, and an immediate fix is essential to ensuring continuity of care and culturally-safe birthing models.
Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters
“The Government needs to urgently fix the issue of insurance for midwives, once and for all. The recent discovery of a loophole in the midwives’ insurance cover means that the care midwives provide to people in early labour before they reach the hospital is not covered and therefore cannot be provided lawfully.
“It is unacceptable that the insurance contract was ever approved by government with this gaping error within it.
“Midwives are essential to improving access to maternity and reproductive healthcare, particularly in regional and remote parts of the country.
“To learn they are suddenly no longer covered to perform these services has direct implications on the livelihoods of midwives, and on the health outcomes of the people they are caring for during pregnancy and birth.
“Midwives should be supported to perform more reproductive healthcare procedures and be funded to do so.”
Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson on First Nations Senator Dorinda Cox
“First Nations women have been giving birth on Country for thousands of years using our Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing. First Nations parents can experience trauma when forced to be away from Country during the birthing process, or when a hospital doesn’t provide the appropriate culturally safe care.
“Receiving that culturally sensitive and safe care on Country improves health outcomes for mums and babies and that opportunity should be available to all expectant First Nations mums as it can help close the gap. Women deserve maternity care that works for them and their bubs.
“The Senate inquiry into reproductive healthcare recommended support for midwives in birthing and a broader range of reproductive healthcare, and for more birthing on Country services and that must be immediately fast tracked.”