Following the COAG Health Council meeting on 7 October 2016, CCH reports that the Australian Health Ministers have agreed to extend the current exemption from holding professional indemnity insurance for homebirths (available to privately practicing midwives) to 31 December 2019. An audit is also to be completed.

Australian Health Ministers have agreed to extend the current exemption from holding professional indemnity insurance (PII) for homebirths available to privately practicing midwives to 31 December 2019.

Health Ministers have approved the necessary amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Regulation to give effect to the decision made by Health Ministers to extend PII exemption for privately practising midwives until 31 December 2019.

Health Ministers noted the work being undertaken to improve the governance and safety of homebirth services provided by privately practicing midwives.

Health Ministers agreed that in conjunction with the extension of the PII exemption, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia will be asked to undertake an audit of all privately practising midwives who provide homebirth services, and to bring a report on the operation of the Board’s Safety and Quality Guidelines for Privately Practising Midwives and the results of the audit to Health Ministers at the end of 12 months of operation of the Guidelines.

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