Maternity services

Information on maternity services for pregnant women and those planning pregnancy, and for health care professionals.

Page last updated: 18 November 2014

Page last reviewed: 18 November 2014

National Maternity Services Plan: Middle Years Implementation Plan 2012-13

The National Maternity Services Plan: Middle Years Implementation Plan 2012-13 was endorsed by the then Standing Council on Health on 27 April 2012. Development of the plan was led by the National Maternity Services Inter-Jurisdictional Committee (MSIJC) in consultation with government and non-government stakeholders who share responsibility for implementing components of the plan. The plan builds on work undertaken in the initial year, and once again, its success is dependent on the continued collaboration between all Australian Governments and other stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the plan.

National Maternity Services Plan

On 12 November 2010, the National Maternity Services Plan was endorsed by the then Australian Health Ministers' Conference.

The 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.

The Maternity Services Inter-Jurisdictional Committee (MSIJC) has been delegated the responsibility of developing, supporting and monitoring the actions of the plan.

Maternity Services Review

In 2008, the department undertook a national review of maternity services, led by the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer.

The review found that, while Australia continues to have high standards of safety and quality in maternity care, choices and information about care for pregnant women needed to be improved. Support for a collaborative maternity workforce was also highlighted, with a particular emphasis on maximising the capacity of appropriately skilled midwives in the provision of maternity care. In addition, access issues for rural and remote women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were identified as a priority for improvement.

In 2009, the findings were presented in the release of the Improving maternity services in Australia: the report of the Maternity Services Review. The report canvassed a wide range of issues relevant to maternity services, including antenatal services, birthing options, post-natal services up to six weeks after birth, and peer and social support for women in the perinatal period.
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