Press Release

Boost for midwifery

The Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin T.D. today (31 July 2000) announced a £1 million package for Student Midwives.

From the next academic year, all students studying for the post -registration Higher Diploma in Midwifery will have their fees refunded. They will also receive an enhanced salary while training. This is in return for a commitment on the part of Student Midwives to work for at least two years following qualification as midwives within the public health service.

This initiative costing £1 million on a yearly basis provides a major boost for midwifery and for maternity hospitals.

Minister Martin said “I am happy to announce this provision today, not only as part of our commitments under the Priority Action Plan for implementation of the Commission on Nursing Report but also as a practical step towards easing recruitment difficulties facing the maternity hospitals in particular.”

This latest initiative reinforces the Minister’s commitment to developing midwifery services.

Earlier this year, Minister Martin provided funding to the maternity hospitals to facilitate a doubling of the theoretical component of the current two-year post-registration midwifery education programme, from 13 to 26 weeks. Such an increase had long been sought by midwifery interest groups.

Last month, a new direct entry midwifery education programme started on a pilot basis. This three-year programme is being operated by Trinity College in association with the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. Minister Martin wishes the 20 students on this programme well in their studies and for their future career.