More midwife support for mums and babies

The Australian Government is ensuring Australian mums have greater access to best practice primary midwifery care.

The Hon Ged Kearney MP
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care

Media event date:
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Media type:
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Audience:
General public

The Australian Government is ensuring Australian mums have greater access to best practice primary midwifery care.
 
As a part of the 2024-25 Budget, the Government is investing $56.5 million to add new items to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) to support access to more flexible, high quality and tailored midwifery care.
 
Midwives are the backbone of maternal and newborn healthcare, providing expert guidance and empathetic care throughout the entirety of the pregnancy journey. Midwives offer what is often the preferred model of care for women as they make it more possible to have continuity of care throughout the whole pregnancy.
 
From 1 March 2025, endorsed midwives will be able to provide longer appointments of at least 90 minutes before and after the birth of a child. The investment also includes a new item for complex antenatal appointments if the woman is admitted to hospital. 
 
This announcement builds on the Albanese Government’s removal of requirements for collaborative arrangements between midwives, nurse practitioners and medical practitioners to unleash the full potential of our nursing and midwifery workforce. This change means that endorsed midwives and nurse practitioners can now prescribe certain Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and provide more services under Medicare, making it easier for people to access high-quality care where and when they need it.
 
These measures will mean the MBS Review Taskforce’s endorsed recommendations for participating midwives will have been implemented.
 
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney MP:
 
“The Albanese Government has an ambitious reform agenda when it comes to midwifery. We know a woman centred, continuous model of care offered by midwives is often the preferred model for many women.

“It means that a midwife builds a strong relationship with the mother, gets to know her specific needs and helps her overcome anxieties in preparation for birthing and having a newborn.
 
“We know that attracting and retaining midwives has been a challenge – particularly in our regions. These changes will help attract more people into midwifery and support the financial viability of independent midwives”.
 
Quotes attributable to Zaneta Mascarenhas, MP:
 
“As a mum, I know how important the care and guidance that midwives provide for women.
 
“It’s a relationship you never forget.
 
“The $56.5 million investment by the Albanese Government into midwifery care will mean more women are supported at those critical times before and after baby arrives.”
 
Quotes attributable to Alison Weatherstone, Chief Midwife Australian College of Midwives:
 
“Midwives are perfectly placed to provide primary midwifery care in the community. These changes are part of the foundation required to grow the Endorsed Midwife workforce ensuring care of a woman’s choice well into the future.
 
“We know that continuity of midwifery care, or care provided by the same known midwife through pregnancy, birth and beyond, is the best maternity care women can get in Australia. Initiatives announced in the Budget 2024 will improve accessibility to this care for women.”

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