SKSaPA Wants More Powers for Midwives, Including in Mothers’ Homes

SKSaPA's senior representatives

Bratislava, February 21 (TASR) – The current system of care for pregnant women and infants is unfavourable, making it impossible for midwives to support the maternal skills of mothers as much as they wish and as required by modern women, said the Slovak Nurses and Midwives Chamber (SKSaPA) on Tuesday.

MEP Jana Zitnanska said recently following talks with the Health Ministry that pre- and post-natal care covered from the public health insurance scheme could soon be provided by midwives working in private practice to mothers in their homes. The ministry wants to discuss the issue further.

“We’re in favour of such a discussion. We’re capable of providing much greater assistance to women in their homes before and after giving birth,” said SKSaPA head Iveta Lazorova.

At present, according to the chamber, most midwives end up working in hospitals. However, expecting women would appreciate greater assistance from midwives, but many of them can’t afford it because health insurance usually doesn’t cover such maternity services at home.

Slovakia has around 1,900 midwives at present, which, admittedly, is not a high number, said the chamber. However, Lazorova said that if all health insurance covered their services in women’s homes, interest in providing this kind of services would be greater.

She went on to give assurances that midwives aren’t looking to replace doctors and gynaecologists. “On the contrary, midwives could help. During their visits to pregnant women and women in the six-week post-natal period, they could identify problems and refer the women to gynaecologists in a timely manner,” she said.

Ministry spokesperson Zuzana Eliasova said that the ministry is working on identifying the range of duties exercised by midwives that would affect the practical requirements for the provision of services by midwives in home environments. She also said that the ministry encourages proposals for enhancing services in home settings, but said that their actual implementation and the setting of requirements will be pre-conditioned by a discussion involving experts from all relevant walks of life and by clear-cut rules.