The existence of midwives is under threat

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Numerous obstetricians give up their jobs: The midwife profession is under threat

The midwives have repeatedly pointed out the difficulties of their profession through protests and strikes in the past few weeks. On yesterday's international midwife day, the midwives once again took to the streets in numerous cities in Germany.

Last year, the German Midwifery Association (DHV) had pointed out the significant shortcomings in the profession of freelance obstetricians and requested in an online petition to receive care for midwives close to home. The petition had over 180,000 signatories, but little has changed since then. As part of yesterday's international midwives' day, the midwives again tried to raise awareness of their problems through protests and strikes.

Liability premiums barely affordable for obstetricians Around 15 percent of freelance midwives have given the press officer of the German Midwives Association, Dr. According to Edith Wolber, she gave up her job as obstetrician in 2010. The massive increase in liability insurance premiums with stagnating remuneration would have given freelance midwives no choice, the DHV ruled. Regardless of how much a midwife actually works, a liability insurance premium of 3,689 euros per year is due when working as an obstetrician. Contrasting this, according to the chairman of the Midwifery Association of Middle Franconia, Steffi Kuntze, an average salary of 7.50 euros net hourly wages for full-time employees. Although many freelance midwives often work over 60 hours a week, so that theoretically they could still pay the liability insurance premium, the burdens are disproportionate to the income of the obstetricians, the DHV criticized. The profession warned the obstetrician profession as a whole in the current situation, the association warned.

Responsibility for obstetricians should be remunerated accordingly. The only option for freelance midwives to avoid the high insurance premiums is to stop working as an obstetrician. According to media reports, liability insurance premiums are reduced by more than 3,000 euros when concentrating on childbirth and aftercare. However, the profession of obstetricians as a whole seems to be threatened with extinction, even though, according to the DHV, it is particularly important for expectant mothers to be accompanied by a trusted midwife at birth. A reduction in the liability premium, however, is out of the question, according to the general association of the insurance industry, since the increase in premiums in recent years was due to a massive increase in medical and nursing costs. A spokeswoman for the general association of the insurance industry indirectly asked for an increase in remuneration instead of a reduction in liability premiums. The association's spokeswoman said that the high responsibility of midwives should be honored accordingly.

Future of the midwifery profession uncertain So far it is unclear which way the Federal Ministry of Health will end up saving the freelance midwives or whether the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) will intervene at all. Last year, following a DHV online petition, Rösler agreed to convene a round table with representatives of the health insurers and the midwifery association. But little has happened since then, and more and more obstetricians have since given up their jobs, so that the DHV's concern about the existence of the entire profession seems entirely justified in the end. (fp)

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