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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1760..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

interventions in birth, reducing physical, emotional and financial costs. The report recognises the need for more integrated models of care that focus on the birthing women, rather than the need for medical practitioners and hospitals. The committee recommends the establishment of a ministerial advisory council on maternal health, supported by a working group on maternal and early childhood health, to implement what the committee sees as major but essential changes to the way maternity services are delivered in the ACT.

The committee has recommended that all public maternity services be streamlined into a single service encompassing public services at Calvary Hospital and an administrative arm for community midwifery services, which is independent from hospital administration. In a small jurisdiction such as Canberra where transfer between hospitals is acceptable it is not constructive to have the two hospitals and the recommended primary birthing units competing with each other, particularly if this competition is at the expense of consumers. It should be entirely possible to link the work of these facilities in order to ensure efficient use of resources and the viability of the whole system, including the medical school.

This is a unanimous report. We are also recommending that there be improved antenatal education, improvements to the maternal and child health clinic operations, changes to mixed maternity and gynaecology wards at the Canberra Hospital, production of comprehensive pregnancy information and support for Bachelor of Midwifery degrees. I encourage the government to consider the recommendations in this report closely. They mirror the needs of women to have safe birth outcomes while supporting midwives, GPs and obstetricians to fully practise their professions with skill and dignity.

This report recommends fundamental changes to the delivery of maternity services and the committee has recommended that the response to this report be developed not only by the department of health but also that the Minister for Health consult with the Minister for Women and the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. The committee is confident, from the evidence received, that the recommendations of this report reflect best practice and, if implemented, will benefit birthing women and their babies. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms MacDonald ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Papers

Mr Wood presented the following papers:

Subordinate legislation (including explanatory statements unless otherwise stated)

Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64-

Rates Act-Rates (Certificate and Statement Fees) Determination 2004 (No 1)-Disallowable Instrument DI2004-60 (LR, 4 May 2004).

Taxation Administration Act-

Taxation Administration (Rates) Determination 2004 (No 1)-Disallowable Instrument DI2004-43 (LR, 4 May 2004).


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