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9 September 2009

The Rudd Government has voted against a Coalition amendment to the midwife indemnity insurance Bills which would have considered the feasibility of extending the insurance provisions to independent midwives involved in homebirths.  

“The Minister, despite ample opportunities, has failed to take leadership on this issue and she has now obstinately refused to accept a way-out of her own bungling,” Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton said.

“The measures that the Coalition proposed provide a sensible course of action for the Government to resolve this issue and work toward providing certainty for parents and health care professionals. 

“The first step to a resolution is for the Government to release the actuarial modelling associated with the indemnity insurance scheme. 

This is consistent with the recommendations of the Minority Report of the Senate Community Affairs Committee. 

It has been a request made on numerous occasions by the Coalition and was formally voted against by Minister Roxon and the Rudd Government last night,” Mr Dutton said.

The second- reading amendment to the Bills moved by the Coalition called on the Minister to:

(a)    facilitate a full and informed debate by requiring the Minister to table all actuarial modelling relating to the extension of Commonwealth Medical Indemnity Insurance to midwives providing birthing services outside of a clinical setting;
(b)    further facilitate a full and informed debate by requiring a review into the provision of medical indemnity insurance to midwives providing birthing services outside of a clinical setting, with the review being tabled in Parliament on or before 1 June 2012; and
(c)    have in the Bills’ objects the goal of not restricting the rights of women to choose home birth as an option provided the wellbeing of the mother and child are not put at risk.

“The Minister’s recent back-flip on the proposed National Registration and Accreditation legislation is only a temporary reprieve until June 2012 and does not provide any course of action to resolve the issue beyond that date.

“After so many bungles and back-flips on a number of different issues, it is clear the Minister wants to delay action and push through to the next election, as she is rapidly losing public confidence and even support within the Labor party” Mr Dutton said.

Posted in: Media Releases
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