Charting a Course for the 21st Century: The Future of Midwifery
For several decades, researchers, policy analysts and consumer advocates have consistently found that the care provided by midwives differs from the medical model of care in ways that benefit women and their families in terms of quality, satisfaction and costs. In early 1998 a Taskforce on Midwifery was convened in an effort to explore impacts to the midwife profession of market driven reforms of health care delivery and financing systems, as well as how managed care may affect the profession in the future. It is the finding and vision of the Taskforce that the midwifery model of care is an essential element of comprehensive health care for women and their families and that it should be embraced by, and incorporated into, the health care system. This report serves to inform managed care organizations, health care professionals and others who employ, collaborate with, and reimburse midwives about the midwifery model of care and its benefits. In addition, the authors hope to inform the profession of midwifery about the opportunities and challenges it faces in today’s health care delivery environment.