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Tuesday, 30 November 2004
Page: 53


Senator BARTLETT (Leader of the Australian Democrats) (3:44 PM) —At the request of Senator Allison and Senator Ridgeway, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) congratulates the Northern Territory Government on announcing a new maternity services package that will allow independently practicing midwives to practice in the Northern Territory by indemnifying them through the government health department;

(b) notes that:

(i) community midwifery is the most appropriate care for 80 per cent of pregnant women, and

(ii) the inability of independently practicing midwives to obtain medical indemnity insurance has restricted the provision of optimal care and choice for Australian women during the birth process;

(c) calls on the governments of other states and territories to follow the Northern Territory, which has joined South Australia and Western Australia, in providing indemnity insurance arrangements which allow independent midwives to practice; and

(d) calls on the Government to consider Medicare funding for independent midwifery consultations.

Question agreed to.