Could the baby bonus be a bonus for babies?

de Costa, Caroline, and Wenitong, Mark (2009) Could the baby bonus be a bonus for babies? Medical Journal of Australia, 190 (5). pp. 242-243.

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Abstract

Closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians needs to start in the womb. • Rates of perinatal mortality, preterm birth and low birth weight are two to three times greater among the babies of Indigenous women than among those of non-Indigenous women; low birth weight predisposes infants to greater risks of chronic illness in later life. • Indigenous women in Australia tend to present for antenatal care later in pregnancy than do non-Indigenous women. • There are many barriers for Indigenous women seeking to access antenatal care — geographical, social, cultural, financial and in some cases a lack of service provision. Many of these problems are being addressed within the public health system and by Indigenous community-controlled health services. However, more needs to be done. • While antenatal care cannot solve all medical and social problems, commencing such care as early as possible in pregnancy has the potential to improve maternal health and hence pregnancy outcomes. • Changes in the way the government Baby Bonus is paid to new mothers could act as an incentive not only to service providers but also to women themselves to initiate antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy. Such a system has been well established for many years in France. • Any changes to the Baby Bonus scheme should provide incentives and not be punitive in nature.

Item ID: 5307
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1326-5377
Additional Information:

Reproduced with permission from the Medical Journal of Australia. de Costa, Caroline, and Wenitong, Mark (2009) Could the baby bonus be a bonus for babies? Medical Journal of Australia, 190 (5). pp. 242-243. ISSN 1326-5377

Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2009 22:51
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920207 Health Policy Evaluation @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 50%
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