New powers for nurse practitioners, midwives to provide quality care

17 May 2024

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has commended MPs and Senators for supporting new Legislation which gives highly-trained nurse practitioners (NPs) and midwives the scope to provide people with safe, quality care.

The Health Legislation Amendment (Removal of Requirement for Collaborative Arrangement) Bill 2024, passed the Parliament yesterday. The Bill had been introduced into the Parliament on 20 March, by Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney.

The Legislation finally removes outdated barriers which have prevented NPs and endorsed midwives from prescribing medicines under the PBS and providing services under Medicare, because of the requirement for a ‘collaborative arrangement’ with a medical practitioner.

“We welcome the passing of this crucial Legislation through the Parliament,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said today.

“This is a critical workforce reform, which will empower nurses and midwives to utilise their full skill-set, training and experience, for the benefit of those needing care and support in the community.  

“Removing old barriers like these are long-overdue and means nurses and midwives will now be able to provide people across the community with better access to safe, quality care, without the need to visit a GP surgery or sit waiting in a strained hospital ED. This has been the case in the ACT and Tasmania, where nurse-led clinics have been successful and very popular in the community.”

“The ANMF and our members look forward to the Government continuing with further reforms, aimed at supporting nurses and midwives and other health professionals to work to their full-scope of practice,” she added.

In Tuesday’s Budget, the Government announced new Medicare items for both midwives and NPs.

The ANMF thanked Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler and Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, saying that ongoing reforms of the nursing and midwifery workforce will result in stronger, sustainable health outcomes for all Australians.

The ANMF, with over 326,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia.

ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne. 

ANMF media inquiries: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390

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