National Maternity Services Plan

The National Maternity Services Plan recognises the importance of maternity services within the health system and provides a strategic national framework, as endorsed by state, territory and Commonwealth governments for the five year period 2010-2015.

Page last updated: 2011

Page last reviewed: 5 November 2014

National Maternity Services Plan (online)

PDF version: National Maternity Services Plan (PDF 997 KB large file)

The plan focuses on maintaining Australia’s high standard of safety and quality in maternity care, while seeking to improve access to services and choice in models of care. Key considerations also include increasing and supporting the maternity workforce, strengthening infrastructure, as well as building the evidence-base on what works well in Australia.

The plan is the product of Australian governments working together to develop a consistent, strategic framework to guide the realisation of this vision.

Through the plan, Australian governments have committed to a range of activities; in particular four major areas were identified - patient access, service delivery, workforce and infrastructure. Some of these activities continue or build on existing programs, while some are aimed at providing a better basis for future service delivery such as the development and adoption of planning tools, and agreement to report against national maternity indicators.

All Australian governments are committed to maternity care reform, and acknowledge the need to maintain this momentum through ongoing implementation and resourcing of the plan. The plan's successful implementation requires a united approach across all Australian governments working together with maternity service professionals from both the public and private sector and Australian women and families using maternity services.

Monitoring and reporting

Ongoing monitoring and reporting were identified as important elements of the plan with an annual report (comprising reports from all jurisdictions and Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council Principal Committees on progress against actions) to be provided to Health Ministers.

Annual reports are available on the maternity services publications page.