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  • Midwifery calls for increased focus on continuity of care.

    Author: Nicole Madigan

The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is urging the Government to prioritise the midwifery workforce, claiming the industry, if well supported, would contribute to improving long term health outcomes including chronic disease. 

In its pre-budget submission, the ACM has called on the government to focus on a range of issues, including Building Midwifery Capacity, Increasing Access to Midwifery Continuity of Care and Facilitating Multidisciplinary Care.

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“There are unequivocal lifelong health benefits and reductions in chronic health issues when we reduce prematurity and low birth weight, increase breastfeeding and improve mental well being during the perinatal period,” said ACM Chief Midwife Alison Weatherstone.

“Midwifery continuity of care has been shown to benefit women, babies and families on all measures and we are seeking Federal Government support in the upcoming budget to maximise access to primary maternity care.”

“Midwifery continuity of care also allows midwives to work to their full scope of practice, which they are trained for. The midwifery profession’s skills are underutilized; this needs to change.”


Griffith University’s Senior Lecturer in Midwifery, Dr Roslyn Donnellan-Fernandez, agrees with the calls, saying the benefits of the continuity of care model extend to women, babies, and families.

“This is a model of health care where pregnant women receive care from a named midwife during their pregnancy, birth and for about six weeks postnatally after the birth of their baby,” said Professor Deonnellan-Fernandez.

She said ensuring all women had equitable access to this care model in both the public and private health sectors provided the best start in life during the first 2000 days.

“Reducing the burden of chronic disease over the life course, and ensuring women and their families are linked into essential wrap-around services at this important time in life,” she said.

The ACM is also calling for the government to fund midwifery MBS items and primary maternity care models in the upcoming budget. 

“Funding models that prioritise midwifery continuity of care can be achieved through MBS items that were approved four years ago but have not been implemented,” said Ms Weatherstone.

“They could also be better supported by medium term reform that includes block and bundled funding for maternity care. 

Professor Donnellan-Fernandez said the MBS is one of the funding mechanisms that provided universal access to health services in Australia.

“Ensuring primary maternity care models are included within this funding system is an essential point of care strategy for delivering safe, quality, respectful maternity care to Australian families, and also for reducing some of the health inequities in currently under-served groups,” she said.


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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a widely published journalist with more than 15 years experience in the media and communications industries.

Specialising in health, business, property and finance, Nicole writes regularly for numerous high-profile newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Before moving into freelance writing almost a decade ago, Nicole was an on-air reporter with Channel Nine and a newspaper journalist with News Limited.

Nicole is also the Director of content and communications agency Stella Communications ( and a children's author.