Women Want Private Practicing Midwives in Public Hospitals - letter writing campaign
- Do you want more control in your pregnancy birth and postnatal care?
- Do you want care in your community or in your home?
- Do Australian women deserve government-funded midwifery care?
- Do you want your own midwife?
Use the below letter to help you ask for the pregnancy, birth and postnatal care you (and all women) deserve. Download and send MC’s letter [link] to your hospital and your MPs.
A new option for birth care
Australia's state, territory and commonwealth governments have all committed to giving women access to Medicare-funded care from midwives in private practice. Changes were made to health funding laws in 2010 to give women this choice.
The new arrangements enable women to receive their pregnancy, birth and postnatal care from their chosen private midwife, with access to obstetricians and other medical care whenever needed. Pregnancy and postnatal midwifery care can be provided in community-based clinics or in women’s homes, and women can go to the local public hospital with their midwife for birth. This type of care is very popular with women, is common in other countries, and is at least as safe as traditional care.
Why can’t I access this choice?
The Medicare items have been ready and waiting for nearly three years (since November 2010) but only a tiny number of Australian women have access to this choice. Doctors’ groups have been highly resistant to the entry of midwives to the birth care marketplace, and most state and territory governments have failed to act to give women access to public hospitals for birth care with a private midwife. Only the Queensland Government has put processes in place to help women access public hospitals with private midwives. This is why Queensland has the only four hospitals in Australia with visiting access for private midwives.
Is it safe?
The science is clear: maternity care from a known midwife, well supported by the hospital system, is as safe, or safer, than normal maternity care. It also feels safe for women.
Is it expensive?
Medicare funding makes private midwifery care affordable for women. Women can choose their own caregiver at much lower cost than private obstetrics, and still have access to obstetric care when they need it.
Each woman who chooses private midwifery care saves public hospitals and state governments thousands of dollars.
So why don’t hospitals and state governments support this choice?
Governments have all agreed that women should have this choice and hospitals and governments stand to receive big benefits. However, hospital managers are resistant to change and not particularly interested in women’s choices – unless women speak out.
What can we do about it?
When women speak out together, governments and health services listen.
- Download a copy of Maternity Coalition’s letter
- Edit the letter so it tells your story (you don’t need to be pregnant)
- Find postal or email addresses for your members of parliament, and your local maternity hospital
- Send them your letter
- Let Maternity Coalition know what sort of responses you get by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
State MPs Contacts