A US Bill has progressed to Senate which aims to increase access to maternity care where it is needed in the country.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) have welcomed the news that the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act has progressed to Senate.
The Bill (H.R. 315), should it be enforced, requires the Health Resources and Services Administration to create maternity health professional shortage designations, which would allow the National Health Service Corps to target resources in areas where there is a significant shortage in maternity care.
In a joint statement, ACOG President, Thomas Gellhaus, M.D, and ACNM President, CNM, Lisa Kane Low, said: “This legislation addresses ACOG and ACNM’s longstanding priority to ensure every woman has safe and timely access to care from a woman’s healthcare provider and seeks to determine areas throughout the country that are experiencing a significant shortage of full scope maternity care professionals.”
They also stated that “improving the geographic representation of women’s healthcare providers will help alleviate the significant pressures communities and health systems currently face and enable them to serve the growing number of women in the United States.”
The Bill was introduced by both Republican and Democrat representatives – Michael Burgess (Republican, Texas), Anna Eshoo (Democrat, California) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (Democrat, California).
The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act passed with 405-0 in a vote under the ‘suspension of rules’ procedure which is used for non-controversial bills.
Keep up to date with the latest research and news from MIDIRS by subscribing to our quarterly academic journal. Subscribe to MIDIRS Midwifery Digest