Department of the Legislative Assembly

ANSWERS TO WRITTEN QUESTIONS

30 November 2004


241. Independent Midwives in Alice Springs

Ms CARNEY to MINISTER for HEALTH

1. What, if any, effort has government taken to ensure that independent midwives in Alice Springs are able to practice?

ANSWER

A response to this question was initially provided in my correspondence to the member for Araluen dated 30 November 2004.

On 18 November 2004, I announced a comprehensive new maternity services package and an investment of nearly $350 000 this year to give all Territory women and families greater birthing choice.

These initiatives strengthen the Community Midwifery Program already in operation and will enable independent midwives to practise in the Territory.

The package offers safety, support, quality services and greater choice for mothers across the Territory. The main features are:

a publicly supported home birth model of maternity care based on the current Western Australian service. Women at low risk can choose to have the support of an independent midwife to deliver their baby at home and receive antenatal and postnatal care. Independent midwives will be indemnified through the Department of Health and Community Services. There will be clear referral protocols if complications arise to protect the safety of mothers and babies. As was the case before the indemnity crisis, this service will only be available from Darwin and Alice Springs, and women will be required to make a co-payment.

consolidating positive changes being made in birthing services generally, including the Community Midwifery Program (CMP). The CMP caters for low risk women who want to give birth in hospital. In Darwin, the CMP will be given a second home outside the hospital, allowing women to birth in RDH, and access antenatal and postnatal care from CMP midwives in a community setting.

upgraded training in advanced obstetrics skills for current midwives, medical practitioners and obstetricians.

outreach antenatal service to remote communities. Two new midwives will be employed in the Top End and Central Australia to improve services for women in remote communities and provide training and support to health professionals.

This package will build upon the construction of the $2.5m Birthing Centre at RDH which will commence next year, and will provide a friendly environment, with an emphasis on midwifery-led care for women who do not need medical intervention during childbirth. The Birthing Centre will include construction of two new, low tech, birth rooms with deep immersion baths, ensuites and non-hospital beds, upgrade of the existing four birth rooms, refurbishment of the entire 6th floor maternity ward, and additional recurrent funding for additional staff to implement the new midwifery led model of care across the birth centre. A midwife will also be employed to work with mothers from remote areas.

The package won’t be operational tomorrow, but implementation has started today. Some elements will take longer than others, but the important thing is we get it right. I have asked the Department of Health and Community Services to make this a priority.

In particular, we will work with all stakeholders to get service protocols and systems in place to enable independent midwives to work safely again in the Northern Territory as quickly as possible.

Government has listened to the range of choices that Territory women and their families want to be able to make. We have kept in mind our prime responsibility to provide safe, quality birthing services to all Territory women. A key element of that safety is the knowledge that all health professionals practice with indemnity cover.


242. Independent Midwives Indemnity Insurance

Ms CARNEY to MINISTER for HEALTH

1. Has government considered changing the Health Practitioners Act so that Health Practitioners, including independent midwives, are able to practice without indemnity insurance?

ANSWER

A response to this question was initially provided in my correspondence to the member for Araluen dated 30 November 2004.

On the 18 November I announced a comprehensive new maternity services package and an investment of nearly $350 000 this year to give all Territory women and families greater birthing choice.

These initiatives strengthen the Community Midwifery Program already in operation and will enable independent midwives to practise in the Territory.

The package offers safety, support, quality services and greater choice for mothers across the Territory. The main features are:

a publicly supported home birth model of maternity care based on the current Western Australian service. Women at low risk can choose to have the support of an independent midwife to deliver their baby at home and receive antenatal and postnatal care. Independent midwives will be indemnified through the Department of Health and Community Services. There will be clear referral protocols if complications arise to protect the safety of mothers and babies. As was the case before the indemnity crisis, this service will only be available from Darwin and Alice Springs, and women will be required to make a co-payment.

consolidating positive changes being made in birthing services generally, including the Community Midwifery Program (CMP). The CMP caters for low risk women who want to give birth in hospital. In Darwin the CMP will be given a second home outside the hospital, allowing women to birth in RDH, and access antenatal and postnatal care from CMP midwives in a community setting.

upgraded training in advanced obstetrics skills for current midwives, medical practitioners and obstetricians.

outreach antenatal service to remote communities. Two new midwives will be employed in the Top End and Central Australia to improve services for women in remote communities and provide training and support to health professionals.

This package will build upon the construction of the $2.5m Birthing Centre at RDH which will commence next year, and will provide a friendly environment, with an emphasis on midwifery-led care for women who do not need medical intervention during childbirth. The Birthing Centre will include construction of two new, low tech birth rooms with deep immersion baths, ensuites and non-hospital beds, upgrade of the existing four birth rooms, refurbishment of the entire 6th floor maternity ward, and additional recurrent funding for additional staff to implement the new midwifery led model of care across the birth centre. A midwife will also be employed to work with mothers from remote areas.

The package won’t be operational tomorrow, but implementation has started today. Some elements will take longer than others, but the important thing is we get it right. I have asked the Department of Health and Community Services to make this a priority.

In particular, we will work with all stakeholders to get service protocols and systems in place to enable independent midwives to work safely again in the Northern Territory as quickly as possible.

Government has listened to the range of choices that Territory women and their families want to be able to make. We have kept in mind our prime responsibility to provide safe, quality birthing services to all Territory women. A key element of that safety is the knowledge that all health professionals practice with indemnity cover.


243.Home Birthing Support, Alice Springs

Ms CARNEY to MINISTER for HEALTH

The Minister for Health said on ABC Radio on 18 August 2004 that the government supports home births –

1. What measures has government taken to ensure that independent midwives in Alice Springs are able to operate?

ANSWER

A response to this question was initially provided in my correspondence to the member for Araluen dated 30 November 2004.

On the 18 November I announced a comprehensive new maternity services package and an investment of nearly $350 000 this year to give all Territory women and families greater birthing choice.

These initiatives strengthen the Community Midwifery Program already in operation and will enable independent midwives to practise in the Territory.

The package offers safety, support, quality services and greater choice for mothers across the Territory. The main features are:

a publicly supported home birth model of maternity care based on the current Western Australian service. Women at low risk can choose to have the support of an independent midwife to deliver their baby at home and receive antenatal and postnatal care. Independent midwives will be indemnified through the Department of Health and Community Services. There will be clear referral protocols if complications arise to protect the safety of mothers and babies. As was the case before the indemnity crisis, this service will only be available from Darwin and Alice Springs, and women will be required to make a co-payment.

consolidating positive changes being made in birthing services generally, including the Community Midwifery Program (CMP). The CMP caters for low risk women who want to give birth in hospital. In Darwin the CMP will be given a second home outside the hospital, allowing women to birth in RDH, and access antenatal and postnatal care from CMP midwives in a community setting.

upgraded training in advanced obstetrics skills for current midwives, medical practitioners and obstetricians.

outreach antenatal service to remote communities. Two new midwives will be employed in the Top End and Central Australia to improve services for women in remote communities and provide training and support to health professionals.

This package will build upon the construction of the $2.5m Birthing Centre at RDH which will commence next year, and will provide a friendly environment, with an emphasis on midwifery led care for women who do not need medical intervention during childbirth. The Birthing Centre will include construction of two new, low tech birth rooms with deep immersion baths, ensuites and non-hospital beds, upgrade of the existing four birth rooms, refurbishment of the entire 6th floor maternity ward, and additional recurrent funding for additional staff to implement the new midwifery led model of care across the birth centre. A midwife will also be employed to work with mothers from remote areas.

The package won’t be operational tomorrow, but implementation has started today. Some elements will take longer than others, but the important thing is we get it right. I have asked the Department of Health and Community Services to make this a priority.

In particular, we will work with all stakeholders to get service protocols and systems in place to enable independent midwives to work safely again in the Northern Territory as quickly as possible.

Government has listened to the range of choices that Territory women and their families want to be able to make. We have kept in mind our prime responsibility to provide safe, quality birthing services to all Territory women. A key element of that safety is the knowledge that all health professionals practice with indemnity cover.


250. BassintheGrass, Costs

Mrs BRAHAM to CHIEF MINISTER

1. How much did Major Events contribute to the BassintheGrass event?

2. What was the break up of the expenditure covered by this funding?

3. How much did Major Events give to the BassintheDust organisers?

4. What areas was this funding to cover?

ANSWER

1. How much did Major Events contribute to BassintheGrass event?

The Northern Territory government provided a grant of $250 000 towards the cost of staging of the BassintheGrass event, which was organised by Major Events. In addition to this, receipts from the event, which were also used to cover the cost of the event, were as follows:





Gate Receipts $209 182
Sponsorship $ 16 000
Merchandise $ 15 182

Sub total: $240 364
Plus grant: $250 000

Total Funding/Revenue: $490 364


2. What was the break up of the expenditure covered by this funding?

ANSWER

$188 678 for operational expenditure including staging and lighting, police, ambulance, security, toilets and amenities;
    $23 234 for advertising;

    $190 538 for talent and performers;

    $78 980 for airfares and accommodation; and

    $2579 for royalty fees payable to peak body (APRA).

    This expenditure totalled $484 009.


    3. How much did Major Events give to the BassintheDust organisers (being Alice Springs Festival)?

    ANSWER

    The Alice Springs Festival offered to organise this event and was provided with $83 620 for this purpose. No event revenue information is available as this was a matter for the Alice Springs Festival.


    4. What areas was this funding to cover?

    ANSWER

    This funding was provided to cover the following expenses:

    $50 000 to the Alice Springs Festival in the form of sponsorship, as agreed;
      $12 000 to secure performer Christine Anu;

      $20 000 underwriting against loss, as agreed;
      $1070 for the distribution of free water;
        $260 for signage; and

        $300 for printing changes.

        Totalling $83 630

        Attendance at each event was as follows:

        Darwin: 5300 payers 6000 in total
        Alice Springs: 803 payers 830 in total

        Based on paid ticket attendance, the government grant per event represents a subsidy of $47 per person for the Darwin event, and $104 per head for the Alice Springs event.
        Last updated: 04 Aug 2016