ACT Government responds to Inquiry into Maternity Services

Following a comprehensive review of maternity services in the ACT, the ACT Government has today responded to the Inquiry into Maternity Services in the ACT Report.

The Inquiry highlighted opportunities to further improve public maternity services in the ACT, to ensure the care people receive meets their individual needs and recognises their right to choice and control.

The report made 74 recommendations. The ACT Government has agreed, or agreed-in-principle, to 65 of these recommendations and noted 9.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the outcomes of the Inquiry provide an opportunity to explore how we can continue to improve and grow our public health services in the ACT and across the region.

“Since the Inquiry began, several programs and initiatives have been rolled out across the ACT public health system to improve maternity services. This includes the launch of Canberra Maternity Options, the completion of the successful home birth trial and a commitment to continue to deliver public home birth as an option for Canberra families.

“We know there is more work to be done across the public maternity system and are committed to improving our maternity services to meet the needs of families in the ACT and our surrounding region.

“We are committed to working in partnership with consumers, stakeholders and health professionals, to address the themes and recommendations outlined in the Report to create an inclusive, informed and responsive public maternity system for the ACT.

“We will continue to implement programs and services to further improve the experience of women and families who come into contact with the public maternity system in the ACT,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Minister Stephen-Smith acknowledged the contribution that people with lived experience can provide to the planning, design and delivery or maternity care, and the vital voice they have in informing future improvements to maternity services.

“I thank everyone who has been involved in this Inquiry, particularly the individuals who provided submissions. By sharing your experiences, you are helping to build a better, more inclusive, person- and baby-centred maternity care system. I thank you for your honesty and courage.

“I also acknowledge the dedicated and hardworking health professionals who work in maternity services across the ACT and provide care and support during one of the most significant times in someone’s life,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

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