17 Jun 2015
The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) has extended a transitional provision under section 284 of the National Law to 31 December 2016 for midwives in private practice providing intrapartum care for women who choose to homebirth.
This provision exempts those midwives in private practice who provide services for women in a home birth setting from requiring professional indemnity insurance (PII) cover for the intrapartum period. It is still a requirement that these midwives in private practice have insurance for both the antenatal and postpartum periods of a birth.
The previous end date of the transitional provision was 30 June 2015.
Section 129 (1) of the National Law requires midwives to have appropriate professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements for midwifery practice. This section states:
A registered health practitioner must not practise the health profession in which the practitioner is registered unless appropriate professional indemnity insurance arrangements are in force in relation to the practitioner’s practice of the profession.
The following documents are available on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) website:
NMBA Chair Dr Lynette Cusack, RN said, ‘The NMBA plays a key role in regulating midwives and is committed to ensuring that midwives are able to practise to their full scope and provide safe maternity care for Australian women and their families.’
‘The extension to exempt PII arrangements for midwives in private practice ensures that women and their families can continue to make informed decisions and exercise their right to choose having a homebirth, with care being provided by a midwife in private practice,’ said Ms Cusack.
Under section 245(3) of the National Law, the new regulation must be published by the Victorian Government Printer. This occurred on Thursday 2 June 2015.
You can access the documents related to the PII arrangements exemption for midwives in private practice on the NMBA website under Ministerial communication.
The Guideline for professional indemnity insurance arrangements for midwives on the NMBA website is now updated to reflect this new date.
Insurance provider VERO has withdrawn its professional indemnity insurance (PII) cover for private practice midwives (PPMs). VERO has stopped insuring new customers immediately and renewals for current customers will stop after 1 July 2015.
We advise all PPMs to check with your insurance provider and make sure you are covered by appropriate PII arrangements.
Download a PDF of this Media statement - PII exemption extended to 31 December 2016 for midwives in private practice - 17 June 2015 (155 KB,PDF)