ACM is delighted by the announcement today from the Queensland Minister for Health, the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, that the Government is investing in midwifery-led publicly funded homebirth. This is a win for Queensland families.
Queensland and Tasmania are currently the only two states in Australia which do not offer publicly funded homebirth in any location. Today’s announcement endorses this safe, evidence-based model of care and importantly expands choice of care options for Queensland women and families.
The Queensland Government is investing in development of an exemplar site to stand up a publicly funded homebirth option for women. This will be located at Sunshine Coast Hospital, where homebirth will be available through a midwifery led MGP. Importantly the Government has committed to investment in resources and personnel to develop this model of care.
ACM Chief Midwife Alison Weatherstone said ‘this commitment is further proof that the Queensland Government is listening to midwives and to consumers of maternity services’. “We’ve been clear about the need for maternity care reform in QLD. The Government have been presented with facts, evidence, statistics and research and they have concluded that midwifery led models of care that enable choice for women are the future of a best practice maternity care system.”
“In August, Queensland was the first state to announce they would appoint a Chief Midwife, prioritising midwifery leadership in their efforts to fix a maternity care crisis in the state. This is another positive step and I commend the QLD Government for responding to women and choosing a new way forward.”
ACM acknowledges the long-standing advocacy of maternity consumers, and ACM members contributing to the implementation of publicly funded homebirth in Qld, in particular Dr Jocelyn Toohill and the late Cathy Styles. We also acknowledge the work of the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union who have a long history advocating for positive change in maternity care in the state.