In an attempt to allow pregnant women continuity during the childbirth process, Victoria will begin a trial for expecting mums, allowing them to bring their own private midwives into public hospitals.
The program is set to take place at Monash Health and Northern Health in Melbourne, as women currently aren’t able to have a private midwife present at public hospitals during birth. Following the trial, the Victorian Government will examine how the plan can be expanded throughout the state.
The Government has provided $90,000 in funding to the pilot program, which will still fall under Medicare, thus allowing expecting mothers to claim the services of their midwife under private health insurance.
According to Health Minister Jill Hennessy, about 1,000 families signed up for the trial once it was introduced, and an unlimited number of women are allowed to take part in it. With approximately 70,000 babies being born each year in Victoria, options and stability of care are very important factors.
“It means women can have continuity of care, they can have the same midwife that they start their pregnancy journey with right through to the end of that birthing process,” said Hennessy. “Pregnancy and birthing can be scary, and this initiative means women will be able to have the same midwife from the start of their pregnancy, through to birth, and weeks beyond.
“What the pilot is really doing is helping Monash Helath and Northern Health with some of the administrative and credential checking processes. We want to encourage as many women who want to participate in this pilot as possible.”