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Angry midwives to rally at parliament for funding

Queensland midwives are being allocated up to 20 mothers and babies to care for at a time.

Queensland midwives are being allocated up to 20 mothers and babies to care for at a time. Photo: AAP

Midwives from across the state will march on Queensland parliament to highlight unsafe conditions and call for immediate funding.

Regional midwives frustrated with the Palaszczuk government’s budget failure to commit to their profession will be bussed in for the Parliament House rally on Monday.

The government provided $42 million in maternity funding in the budget but made no allocation for midwives and midwife-led models of care, the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union said.

Angry midwives warned that staff were severely overloaded, resulting in unsafe conditions for both mothers and babies, and are calling for immediate action from Health Minister Shannon Fentiman.

A recent safety audit revealed single midwives were allocated up to 20 mothers and babies at a time

“The system is in crisis and we have the solutions – Queensland’s midwives must be heard and respected,” QNMU Secretary Kate Veach said.

“We are calling on Health Minister Shannon Fentiman and the state government to commit appropriate funding to midwives and midwife-led models of care now.”

Australian College of Midwives chief Alison Weatherstone said action was required on behalf of Queensland mothers and babies, as well as their colleagues.

“Queensland women aren’t currently able to consistently access maternity care close to home – they deserve choice, continuity of care and services where they live,” she said.

“Failure to act is a failure to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Queensland mothers, babies and the midwives who care for them.”

The protest will culminate in a meeting with the health minister on Wednesday, the union said.

Ms Fentiman will join Deputy Premier Steven Miles for the opening of the Redlands satellite hospital on Monday.

– AAP

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