ACM welcomes the additional $42 million, four year commitment from Queensland Health to expand rural and regional birthing services.
Access to maternity care and carer of a woman’s choice, close to home, should be a basic right of all women in Australia, but for many Queenslanders in rural and remote areas in recent years, it has been a pipe dream.
QLD Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has now pledged $42 million dollars towards the reinstatement of bypassed services and expansion of rural and regional birthing services including outreach obstetric and gynaecology services, telehealth, outreach and retrieval services. It will also ensure culturally safe care for all priority populations including First Nations Women.
ACM’s Chief Midwife Alison Weatherstone was pleased to see the government’s commitment to improving maternity services for Queensland women and the inclusion of some of ACM’s key recommendations. “It’s vital for women to be provided with safe, woman centred maternity care of their choice close to home, and the consideration of level 2 birthing facilities is a way to achieve this.”
“This significant funding opportunity must be utilised wisely. We must be open to the possibility of redesigning our maternity services to ensure they are cost effective, future proof and able to benefit Queensland families and communities now and beyond this four year period.”
“Midwifery continuity of care remains the key to resolving the nationwide rural and remote shortage of birthing services.”
“Again and again, evidence affirms that midwives working to their full scope of practice, including sexual and reproductive health and maternal, child and family health are well positioned and willing to provide comprehensive primary maternity care. Furthermore, the improved job satisfaction for midwives helps to retain our workforce and attracts midwives to rural areas where they will have a significant impact on improving equity and access to maternity services.”