National Maternity Services Plan: 2011-2012 annual report

Report on progress under the National Maternity Services Plan during the period 2011-12.

Page last updated: 2013

Page last reviewed: 5 November 2014

PDF version: National Maternity Services Plan: 2011-2012 annual report (PDF 167 KB)

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Executive summary

The National Maternity Services Plan sets out a five year vision for maternity care across Australia, commencing in 2011. The plan recognises the importance of maternity services within the health system and provides a strategic national framework to guide ongoing policy and program development.

During the period 2011-12, progress under the plan has been very positive. The four key priorities of the plan – access, service delivery, workforce and infrastructure - have been addressed with a number of significant achievements. These include:
  • The Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline has received more than 60,000 calls to May 2012, which represents a two fold increase on its first year rate
  • The first ten Core Maternity Indicators were developed and endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council in December 2011
  • Rebateable services for Medicare Benefits Schedule items for eligible midwives was introduced, with 18,770 services recorded for midwives, up until 30 June 2012
  • The Core Competencies and Education Framework for Primary Maternity Services in Australia was finalised
  • The Maternity Services Inter-jurisdictional Committee developed the inaugural Australian Women Held Pregnancy Record template
  • The Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program Maternity Services initiative was introduced with visits from 23 different types of health professionals including: Aboriginal Midwifery Managers; Neonatologists; Obstetricians; Psychologists; Occupational Therapists; Midwife Clinical Specialists; Lactation Consultants; and Sonographers
  • In April 2012, the Health Workforce Australia released Health Workforce 2025, which makes 27 recommendations to investigate opportunities to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the health workforce, including those working in maternity care and
  • The Maternity Services Inter-jurisdictional Committee (MSIJC) developed the National Maternity Services Capability Framework which provides a rigorous methodology based on the complexity of care required during pregnancy, supporting maternity service planning and risk management.
Further to this, as Australian women continue to identify continuity of carer as one of the most important factors influencing their decision on maternity care options, all Australian governments have committed to expanding continuity of carer models through the development of consistent approaches to the implementation of clinical privileging, credentialing and admitting rights for private midwives to public hospitals.

As the plan is progressed into the middle years 2012 -13, the MSIJC will maintain responsibility for the monitoring of the implementation of the action items as identified in the plan.

All Australian governments and relevant agencies should be congratulated on the achievements to date. A continued collaborative working relationship between these key-stakeholders will ensure the continued success for the implementation of the remainder of the plan.