In the UK some 170 self-employed midwives work outside the NHS and charge fees to their clients.
They cannot, however, obtain indemnity insurance since no company will offer it. Therefore they would have to pay out of their own assets is successful sued.
From October an EU directive will make it illegal for any health professional to operate without indemnity insurance. Unless the government can provide insurance cover at a level which these midwives can afford, they will lose their livelihoods.
Their departure would put pressure on an NHS where lack of funding means a shortage of midwives and new entrants cannot gain positions.
Above all, this change typifies the EU’s tendency to interfere in matters which have nothing to do with trade between the members states.
The question of whether private midwives should be allowed to practise without indemnity insurance should be ours alone to decide.
Keith F Wells
UK Independence Party