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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2590..


development of a framework to assist agencies to work together on shared priorities, to make further progress towards a comprehensive whole of Government response to the social determinants of health.

Health—midwives

Ms GALLAGHER (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Hunter on Thursday, 7 April 2011): I am advised that the answer to the Member's question is:

In line with other jurisdictions, ACT Health is in the process of establishing a cross jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary Maternity Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to monitor implementation of the National Maternity Services Plan (the Plan) 2010 - 2015. The MSAC will establish a number of working groups to progress a range of actions in the Plan including the development of a framework for clinical privileging and scope of practice, credentialing, including prescribing and collaborative arrangements and visiting rights for privately practicing 'eligible' midwives in the public hospital system.

Action 1.2.2 of the Plan requires jurisdictions in the initial year (2011) to develop consistent approaches to the provision of clinical privileges within public maternity services to enable admitting and practice rights for eligible midwives and medical practitioners. This work is underway through the national Maternity Services Interjurisdictional Committee (MSIJC) which reports through the Health Policy Priorities Principle Committee (HPPPC) to Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC). The MSIJC has requested advice from the Commonwealth regarding issues related to Private Health Insurer (PHI) funding of private bed day costs in a public facility if the private midwife also has MBS access.

At this point, the Women and Children's Service at the Canberra Hospital is only aware of one privately practicing eligible midwife providing homebirth in the ACT. This midwife is providing Canberra Hospital with her MIGA (Commonwealth supported professional indemnity insurance provider) Midwifery Care Plan. The hospital acknowledges receipt of the maternity care plan and creates a file for the woman to cover the eventuality that she may be admitted. The midwife is invited to consider offering the woman a tour of the maternity facilities and a pre-admission visit so that she is familiar with and comfortable with the public facility if admission is required.

The Australian College of Midwives acknowledges the need for the midwife to take full responsibility for consultation with other midwives and with obstetricians (GP or specialist) and the need for the midwife to organize their own time to attend different women in their caseload as required, including being on call for labour and birth.1

Under current arrangements, if the woman is admitted to the Canberra Hospital, her private midwife must then hand over care to the public midwives and she becomes a birthing support person.

A Medicare provider number will only be issued if the eligible midwife is in private practice. To access the MBS and PBS arrangements, midwives need to meet the


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