Keep Homebirth with a Midwife Alive in Australia
To the Federal Member for Robertson: Ms Belinda Neal We, the undersigned, are residents of your electorate and ask for your urgent assistance and support in representing us in Parliament in a basic human right. We believe every woman has the right to make an informed choice as to where and with whom she gives birth. With planned national registration of all health professionals, to take effect on July 1st 2010, midwives in private practice will be unable to seek registration on the basis of their inability to obtain professional indemnity insurance. By making professional indemnity insurance a condition of registration, and at the same time, excluding homebirth midwives from the insurance cover, the bills will, in effect, outlaw homebirths. Independent midwives are highly skilled medical professionals in their own right and they are now facing $30,000 fines for doing their job. We ask that you bring this issue to the parliament's attention and make a speedy redress to assist midwives in private practice to obtain professional indemnity insurance. We also ask that midwives in private practice enjoy the same funding mechanisms as procedural general practitioners and specialist obstetricians under the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Women must retain the right to informed choice, meaning that a woman must be informed of any perceived risk but that the choice of what action to take must remain with the woman and her primary caregiver. This support could be through the provision of professional indemnity insurance with Commonwealth assistance for accredited independent midwives. A temporary measure could be to provide an exemption for Independent midwives under national regulation laws until insurance can be obtained. Knowing that you have supported local women's issues in the past here on the Central Coast (ie: Central Coast Women Health Centre) we implore that you put party policies and loyalties aside and do what is ethically and morally right by voting no to the present legislation as it stands when it is presented in Parliament.