Page 306 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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Health—home births
(Question No 377)

Mr Davis asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 6 August 2021:

(1) Can the Minister provide, noting the evaluation of the publicly-funded homebirth trial in the ACT published in March 2020, an update on (a) how many midwives currently attend homebirths in the ACT, (b) in total, how many midwives that currently attend homebirths in the ACT have been trained in neonatal resuscitation and (c) are primiparous women who meet low risk criteria, have a health pregnancy, would like a planned homebirth and are full aware of the benefits and risks, now eligible for a homebirth.

(2) Has the ACT Government consulted with the ACT Ambulance Service and ACT Insurance Authority on the geographical boundaries associated with publicly funded homebirth at the Centenary Hospital for Women and children (CHWC); if so, what advice has the (a) ACT Ambulance Service and (b) ACT Insurance Authority, provided on this issue during consultation.

(3) Has the ACT Government consulted with Calvary Hospital on the provision of publicly funded homebirth services for those living in the northern geographical area; if so, is there appetite Calvary Hospital to provide this service.

(4) Do midwives from the CHWC have visiting rights to transfer people from the northern geographical area should that be required.

(5) Are people participating in the homebirth trial able to choose a water birth with informed consent; if not, why not.

(6) Have the midwives, that currently attend publicly funded homebirths in the ACT, been provided with the opportunity by the ACT Government to undertake credentialing on water births.

(7) Are midwifery students able to attend a homebirth as an observer if a woman who chooses homebirth is one whom they have engaged in a continuity of care experience.

(8) Are midwives, working in the CHWC maternity unit, given the opportunity to rotate into the homebirth program to enhance understanding of the experience and processes of homebirth.

(9) What plans are there to expand access to the continuity of care model so that every pregnant person who would like continuity of care has access to it.

Ms Stephen-Smith: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) (a) Canberra Health Services (CHS) has 12 primary homebirth midwives and another five who are working towards being a primary homebirth midwife.

(b) All midwives who attend a homebirth are trained in neonatal resuscitation in the homebirth setting.

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