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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . . Page.. 1556..


MS BURCH: Nothing has come to my office but I am aware that the childcare sector is actively engaged in discussions about the regulations. Nothing has come to my office that indicates that the sector here is not clear in its mind about what is an appropriate activity.

Health—midwives

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, as you know, midwives were granted Medicare eligibility in November 2010. The ACT has one Medicare-eligible midwife, with six others pending. Medicare-eligible midwives are required to obtain either a collaborative agreement or an arrangement in order to practise. They also need clinical privileges to provide care within the hospital system. Minister, can you outline what steps ACT Health has taken to enable collaborative arrangements and clinical privileges for Medicare-eligible midwives?

MS GALLAGHER: This is something that the government is having ongoing discussions with the Greens around. I have not got an update as of today but I can say that I have sought advice on how to implement access to clinical privileges for eligible midwives should they want it. I am not aware of anyone that has sought to gain clinical privileges through ACT Health but I might be corrected on that; I am personally not aware. But once the issue was raised with me, I think by Ms Bresnan in a meeting I had with her, I sought advice on how we can facilitate that, whether there has been interest in it and whether there are any concerns around it.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Hunter?

MS HUNTER: Minister, can you explain how the women of the ACT can currently contract a Medicare-eligible midwife and can claim Medicare payments?

MS GALLAGHER: I am sorry, I just missed the first part of the question. Can I explain how they can—

MS HUNTER: Can you explain how the women of the ACT who currently contract a Medicare-eligible midwife can claim Medicare payments?

MS GALLAGHER: I will have to take that on notice. I must say it is not something that we manage on a day-to-day basis, because it is really through the private health system. In terms of women accessing midwifery care through ACT Health, that is something that ACT Health manages. But I can certainly take some more advice on it, Ms Hunter.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: Minister, will you direct senior obstetrics staff to respond to Medicare-eligible midwives when communicating mandatory care plans that are a part of their insurance requirements?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not ever direct senior medical staff to do anything. I do not think you can take that approach to this issue. If there is eligibility and there is a


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