Midwives still await PBS script training
by: Adam Cresswell, Health editor
From: The Australian April 20, 2012
MIDWIVES have not written a single prescription under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, nearly 18 months after they were supposed to begin, because no training courses exist to teach them safe prescribing.
There are approximately 200 midwives nationally who have achieved eligibility for Medicare (MBS) and pharmaceutical benefits (PBS) - 'prescribing'. Each of these midwives were required to sign an undertaking to the Nursing and Midwifery Board that we would
"undertake, and successfully complete, within 18 months of recognition as an eligible midwife:-
- an accredited and approved program of study determined by the Board to develop midwives' skills and knowledge in prescribing; or
- a program that is substantially equivalent ...
Many midwives, including yours truly, are waiting for (1) an 'accredited and approved program of study' before launching into this endeavour. It is unlikely that midwives who have not commenced their course of study within 6 months of receiving notation as eligible for Medicare will be able to complete their courses within the required 18 months of recognition.