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Midwifery in Germany - The Necessity of Developing a Workforce and Service Planning Approach

  • Background: Midwifery care in Germany is a legal right for every woman (SGB V). Midwives work employed or freelance in hospitals or in community services, providing maternal care from pregnancy until the end of breastfeeding (Sayn-Wittgenstein 2007). Increasingly, a shortage of midwifery care has been observed, forcing hospitals to understaff or to close their birth units, leaving women and their families without care (Sander et al. 2018). At the same time, birth rates are rising, thus leading to an increasing demand of midwifery care (Destatis 2019). As off today there is no central register for midwives across Germany’s 16 states. Therefor the exact number of registered midwives as well as the scope of services provided by midwives are not known (Niedersächsisches Landesgesundheitsamt 2019). Given the present situation, it seems to be imperative to establish effective midwifery workforce planning. The aim of this poster is to identify already existing health workforce planning approaches and to determine the extent to which those can be transferred to the German system of midwifery care. Methods: Health workforce planning approaches, already being used on a national and international level, have been analysed, focusing their applicability to midwifery services in Germany. Results: Particular elements of the workforce planning approaches already being used in Germany for registered physicians seem to be adoptable. However, they need to be adjusted and enhanced to ensure the characteristics of midwifery in the German public health services. Internationally used approaches are not readily transferable due to systemic differences in health care systems. Conclusions: The development of new specific workforce and service planning approaches for midwifery care in Germany is crucial to meet present and future needs of women and their families during the childbirth period.

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Author:Manuela Raddatz, Claudia Hellmers, Friederike zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-HohensteinORCiD
Title (English):Midwifery in Germany - The Necessity of Developing a Workforce and Service Planning Approach
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2020/01/03
Tag:Midwifery; Workforce
12th European Public Health Conference: Building bridges for solidarity and public health, 20 - 23 November 2019, Marseille Chanot, Marseille, France
In cooperation with:Universität Witten/Herdecke
Faculties:Fakultät WiSo
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Review Status:Akzeptierte Fassung