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New ideas invited on the future direction of maternity care in WA

13 November, 2006

The introduction of local midwifery practices and family birth centres are just two of the new ideas put forward in a discussion paper about the future of maternity care in Western Australia.

Director General of Health, Dr Neale Fong, said these services would allow women to access a wider choice of options for safe maternity care and would build on the excellent services already available in this State.

“I encourage the community and health professionals to have their say on this discussion paper to ensure that people involved in receiving and delivering maternity care help set the direction,” he said.

“The views collected from this phase of consultation, together with international and national best practice and evidence-based research, will form the basis of a new maternity care policy, which will be available for comment next year.”

Dr Fong said this multi-phased consultation approach had been adopted so that as many people as possible had the opportunity to be involved and give their views.

Dr Fong said information was sought on the following questions:

- Do you think the proposed options will help women become more involved in their maternity care?
- Do you have any comments on how the future could look as described in the discussion paper?
- If the options suggested in the discussion paper were available, would you use them?
- What other maternity options should be offered?
- What other health reform strategies need to be integrated with maternity care when formulating state policy?
- What other issues would you like to raise in regard to providing public maternity care in WA?
- The public has until 31 December to comment on the discussion paper that was written in consultation with health professionals and the Health Consumers’ Council as part of the Future Direction in Maternity Care Consultation.

Copies of the discussion paper can be obtained on the website <a target="_blank" href="http://www.clinicalnetworks.health.wa.gov.au" target="_blank">http://www.clinicalnetworks.health.wa.gov.au</a>.

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