Homebirth and the National Australian Maternity Services Review: Too hot to handle?
Research article by H. Dahlen a,, V.Schmied a, S.K.Tracy b, M.Jackson a, J. Cummings c, H.Priddis
Many positive recommendations have come from the Maternity Services Review (MSR), however the decision to exclude homebirth from these reforms is perplexing considering the large number of submissions describing the benefits of and barriers to homebirth in Australia. A concerning number of submissions discuss having had or having considered an unattended birth at home due to these barriers. Overall there is the belief that not enabling access to funded, insured homebirth in Australia is a violation of human rights. It appears that homebirth was considered by the MSR as 'too hot to handle' and by dismissing it as a minority issue the government sought to avoided dealing with homebirth as a 'sensitive and controversial issue.'
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We have just over 17 months before the exemption from professional indemnity insurance for midwives attending homebirth expires. Homebirth as a 'senstive and controversial issue' is just not good enough. We need solutions now!