Maternity services reforms: what they mean for midwives and obstetricians

Welcome to the maternity services information page – providing information to health professionals providing maternity care to Australian women. Here you will find further information on the Australian Government’s reforms to maternity services and what they will mean for you, your practice and your patients.

Page last updated: 28 October 2010

Maternity services reforms: what they mean for midwives and obstetriciansIn the 2009-10 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced the Improving Maternity Services Budget Package, providing $120.5 million over four years. A range of initiatives have been funded to support the maternity services workforce, and specifically to make better use of the midwifery workforce in providing safe, high quality maternity care in Australia.
The initiatives include:

    • MBS and PBS benefits for services provided by eligible, privately practising midwives, working in collaboration with doctors;
    • A Government-supported professional indemnity insurance scheme for eligible, privately practising midwives;
    • An expansion of the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program (MSOAP) to provide more services in rural and remote communities; and
    • Extra scholarships for GPs and midwives to expand the maternity workforce, particularly in rural and remote Australia.

For more information on the Budget package visit the Maternity Services Review page.

The new MBS and PBS arrangements for midwives will allow pregnant women, new mothers and their families greater choice and affordability in the maternity care they choose to receive.

These reforms recognise the important role played by qualified midwives in the birthing experience of many Australian women and will mean greater support for midwives in providing safe, quality services and continuity of care.

More information about applying for a Medicare provider and/or prescriber number is available on the Medicare Australia website.

More useful information

Midwives/Nurse Practictioners information

MBS changes for midwives, visit Medical Benefits.

Collaborative arrangements

The National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) publication, National Guidance on Collaborative Maternity Care, is now available on the NHMRC website.

The legislative determination for collaborative arrangements is available online on the ComLaw website.

Registration information for midwives

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Medicare Australia

Commonwealth-supported professional indemnity insurance for midwives

Medical Insurance Group Australia