Indemnity insurance restored for midwives delivering labour care at home

The Australian Government has restored the ability of midwives to deliver care to women who labour in their home before a planned birth in hospital.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

Media event date:
Date published:
Media type:
Media release
Audience:
General public

The Albanese Government has restored the ability of midwives to deliver care to women who labour in their home before a planned birth in hospital, after the former government left a gap in professional indemnity insurance for those services.
 
After extensive engagement from the Albanese Government, the medical indemnity insurer MIGA will now amend its policies to cover these services for endorsed midwives with individual insurance. 
 
The Government will support these changes by providing an indemnity to MIGA so that the Government will pay 100 per cent of any eligible and approved claims made in respect of these intrapartum, outside of hospital services for a midwife with an individual policy with MIGA.
 
Endorsed midwives with existing individual policies which cover intrapartum care in hospital with MIGA will not need to do anything and this new out of hospital cover will be automatically added to their policy.
 
Endorsed midwives who do not have an individual policy with MIGA will need to apply to MIGA for a policy, via the MIGA website.
 
The Albanese Government was made aware of the gap in insurance coverage left by the former government on 17 October this year.
 
Cover will be available retrospectively for this service dated from 17 October 2023, irrespective of whether the endorsed midwife already holds a policy with MIGA or now applies for one.
 
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
 
“The Albanese Government recognises that midwifery continuity of care is incredibly important and has the best outcomes for women and babies and we will continue to work to make sure that it is accessible and supported.
 
“We acknowledge that this has disrupted the birth plans of expectant parents during a highly emotional and significant time, and that this disruption has no doubt caused concern and disappointment.
 
“This was an oversight of the former Government, which should have done its due diligence and checked there was appropriate insurance in place before establishing the Medicare rebate for the service.
 
“This was another failure of the former government in healthcare, but as always the Albanese Government cleaned up the mess.”
 
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister Kearney:
 
“Giving birth can be an incredibly stressful but also meaningful experience. This solution means that women can get the support they want and have a midwife at home in the early stages of labour.”
 
“Midwives play a pivotal role in our health system when it comes to maternity care. This outcome makes sure midwives are protected to provide their expert care to women who need it.”

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