The Australian Medical Association says Queensland mums and babies are increasingly being put at risk in births where only a midwife is present.
The doctors have urged the state government to intervene.
Johnny Tsui reports.
Child birth should be a rewarding and safe experience but according to the AMA women under midwife-led care have twice the rate of early mortality without a doctor’s specialist care.
Dr Chris Zappala, AMA Qld President: “The current exclusion, however, of obstetrician is in no one’s best interest and that work practice simply must stop”.
Leading child birth specialists believe their involvement results in better outcomes for both mothers and babies.
Dr Gino Pecoraro, Obstetrician: “If you are looked after by a midwife, again, the outcomes are not as good, not as safe, for mother and baby than if the obstetrician was the head of the team”.
However, the organisation representing midwifes says they have the necessary training required to work in Australia’s public hospital system.
Liz Wilkes, Midwives Australia: “Midwifes and obstetricians are both educated through the university system and provide safe adequate care for women and their babies”.
But the AMA is pushing for intervention.
Doctors have given the government a list of recommendations to improve current hospital care for babies and their mothers. They want to take the lead role in pregnancy and labour, Johnny Tsui QUT News.