The Australian Government 2022-23 Federal Budget was handed down yesterday. The Australian College of Midwives provide below a short overview of Budget measures which are relevant to the midwifery profession and for Health more broadly.
For the midwifery profession, key measures include:
- Birthing on Country: Waminda, Nowra
$22.5m to build a dedicated Birthing on Country Centre, Waminda, in Nowra, New South Wales. Waminda is a leader in the Birthing on Country Space which already provides a culturally safe and holistic service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their families and will be a centre of excellence which will lead the way for Birthing on Country nationally. Their vision is for Aboriginal Women and (their) families to be leading and living self-determined futures.
- New and Expecting Parent Support
The Government will provide $32.1 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to support new and expecting parents. Funding includes:
- $26.2 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to establish 12 perinatal mental health centres across Australia to provide Medicare Benefits Schedule psychological counselling services to new and expecting parents
- $5.9 million over two years from 2022–23 to expand the pregnancy and post-natal care guidelines for expectant parents, including targeted consultation and guidance for culturally and linguistically diverse people and First Nations peoples.
- Bereaved Parent Support
The Government will provide $13.9 million over 3 years from 2022–23 to support bereaved parents by increasing the number of stillbirth autopsies and providing additional support services. Funding includes:
- $11.4 million to increase the number of perinatal pathologists to perform stillbirth autopsies and the perinatal loss workforce
- $2.2 million to jointly fund hospital transport costs with state and territory governments
- Newborn Screening Expanded
- The Government will provide $39.0 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to increase the number and consistency of conditions screened through the newborn bloodspot screening programs.
- National Nurse and Midwife Health Support Service
- The Government will provide $19.2 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to establish the National Nurse and Midwife Health Support Service to provide counselling and health support services to nurses and midwives.
- Restoring Regional Services: Birthing Unit and Maternity Ward – Yass, NSW
- $4.7 million in 2023–24 to restore maternity services to Yass District Hospital in New South Wales (NSW)
- ORIGINS project funding (Channel 7 Telethon Trust)
- The Government has also provided $1.3 million in 2022–23 to the Trust for the ORIGINS project, funded through the Medical Research Future Fund, as part of annual funding of $1.3 million per year provided since the 2017–18 MYEFO. The ORIGINS project is a long-term study of pregnant women and their families to understand how early environment and parental health impact longer-term diseases and conditions.
- COVID-19 – insurance
- Extending medical indemnity legislative arrangements to continue access to the Run-Off Cover Scheme to support eligible doctors and midwives returning to the workforce to help address shortages arising from COVID-19.
- $4.7 billion over 4 years from 2022–23 will mean 96 per cent of families with children in care are better off and no family is worse off.
- Expanding Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks for working parents:
- $531.6 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to expand the Paid Parental Leave scheme and provide greater support to families. In 2026, families will be able to access up to 26 weeks of Paid Parental Leave.
- NT: A second Careflight Helicopter
- $10.1 million in 2022–23 for CareFlight to increase its capacity to deliver aeromedical services in the Northern Territory
Please click on this link for an update on Budget measures for Health more broadly.
Please click on this link for a pdf version of the Federal Budget Update - Midwifery.