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Midwives, for the first time, can now provide Medicare-funded care under a controversial yet dramatic reform passed by the senate.

Under the new laws, midwives will be set up for a national register that will require insurance before signing-up - insurances were not available to midwives since 2001.

The government has promised to provide insurances and proposed a two-year buffer for those who find difficulty in finding a provider.

But this new law fails to provide for midwives who offer homebirths and they cannot have access in the commonwealth's insurance support.

Finally, they have admitted that this is a significant and historic occasion for nurses and midwives to finally be welcomed. said Health Minister Nicola Roxon to the parliament.

This law is the exact approach to solve the problem concerning the shortage of doctors.

Homebirths Australia's Justine Caines said that doctors stood to the belief that midwives should only be employed to do doctor's lackey work.

The Australian College of Midwives said that the recent reforms has indicated a significant step forward, but called on the government's attention to also ensure insurance to those midwives offering homebirths.