- Re the Collegian Editorial: Meeting the needs of rural and regional families: Educating midwives (2012) 19, 187–188.
- I write to you concerning the editorial published in Volume 19, Issue 4 (2012) of Collegian, pages 187–188, ‘Meeting the needs of rural and regional families: Educating midwives’. This editorial was brought to the attention of the Board and Executive Team of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMAC) recently.
- When a midwife is working as a midwife that is what she is. A midwife who is also a nurse is not working as a nurse when she cares for women with complex maternity care needs she is working as a midwife, an honour afforded to her by her midwifery education, registration and regulation.
- I write this as the Chair of the Australian College of Midwives’ (ACM) Midwifery Education Advisory Committee (MEAC). We welcome informed and vigorous debate at any time about midwifery education. Unfortunately the 2012 (19, 4) Collegian Editorial by Stewart et al. lacks authentication for its claims and innuendo which does not enhance debate or discussion. Neither stipulation nor criticism has been made about midwifery education award levels by MEAC or the ACM – universities make their own choice about award levels and types and this should be based on sound collaboration and consultation with women as consumers, industry partners and the midwifery profession as well as individual university requirements.
- I am writing in response to the editorial ‘Meeting the needs of rural and regional families: Educating midwives’ (Stewart, Lock, Bentley, & Carson, 2012). In this editorial, the authors cite my paper (Newnham, 2010), after stating, ‘Criticisms have been made about health services developing policy in order to be cost effective’ (Stewart et al., 2012, p. 187). While I understand the point that they are trying to make, I am concerned that this is a misrepresentation of my argument.
- Recent claims that Australian midwifery is at a crossroads (Newhnam, 2010), and related debate centred upon women-centred versus medical models of care, requires urgent attention to ensure the future of midwifery practice. Less apparent in the public sphere is a current move by some Universities away from postgraduate midwifery programs in favour of direct entry undergraduate programs, alongside the Australian College of Midwives’ apparent criticism of the alternative undergraduate model of joint Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery undergraduate degrees.