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8 August 2022

The Australian College of Midwives welcomes the announcement by the Victorian Government’s commitment to build the midwifery and nursing workforce in Victoria with a $270m support package.

ACM acknowledges this substantial commitment to fund the costs for undergraduate midwifery degrees. More midwives will also join the workforce through an expanded postgraduate midwifery incentive program.

ACM CEO Helen White welcomed the news. “It’s refreshing to see a State Government adopt a new strategy to expand the midwifery workforce of the future. Making midwifery study affordable will go a long way to tackling the crippling nationwide midwifery shortage, which can result in rolling maternity ward closures and women turned away from their planned place of birth at the eleventh hour.”

While the news is welcome, ACM supports a roll out of similar programs Australia wide, to prevent the potential drain of midwives interstate, worsening the situation in states and territories where midwives are needed most.

ACM President Professor Joanne Gray cautioned there is more to consider with such a sudden increase. “We’ll be watching with interest to see how the current system handles the surge in clinical placements and the additional pressure, on experienced staff, to supervise.”

“Entrance rankings for midwifery are already sky high with interest in midwifery degrees far exceeding available places. Every step of the process is regulated. The next challenge will be changing capacity limits to universities, the number of placement opportunities and graduate positions to allow the workforce to scale up,” Gray concluded.

With the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit, ACM also seeks sustained investment to facilitate an increased and supported midwifery workforce nationwide, to include funding to support sufficient clinical placements nationally to cater to increased student enrolments in midwifery.

ACM Marketing and Communications Manager Victoria Forrest 0432 939 121

About ACM:
The Australian College of Midwives is the peak professional body for midwives in Australia. Together we are working to build a resilient midwifery workforce for the future by advocating for the profession at a government level, promoting the benefits of midwifery care to the wider community and ensuring midwives in Australia are supported with industry information, quality education, career development and professional support through all stages of their career.

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