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Government to Accept Recommendations of Stillbirth Research and Education Report

In response to the report, the Government is investing $52.4 million in perinatal services and support. With the aim to help prevent, reduce and assist the more than 2000 families affected by stillbirth each year.

Key points:

The accepted recommendations include:

  • Developing a National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan
  • Investing in stillbirth research
  • Developing best practice and culturally appropriate resources
  • Working with States and Territories to make improvements in key areas including improving national perinatal mortality data collections, improving access to publicly-funded stillbirth autopsies, building the perinatal pathology workforce, developing more culturally and linguistically appropriate models of care, bereavement support and protocols for public hospitals and community health services.

Facts and figures:

In Australia, about 6 babies are stillborn every day and 2 die in the neonatal period (within 28 days of birth), with congenital anomaly accounting for almost a third of all perinatal deaths.

Rates of perinatal death have remained relatively constant since 1997.

Whilst the rates of perinatal death of babies born to Indigenous women have been decreasing, the rate is still higher than compared to babies of non-Indigenous women.

Ask the Minister:

Greg Hunt Minister for Health

“Reducing the rate of stillbirth in Australia, including providing the best possible support services for families living with the tragedy of stillbirth, is a Morrison Government health and wellbeing priority.”

“We understand the importance of this issue not only for the women affected, but for their partners, families and the broader community.”

Ask the expert:

Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) spokesperson.

“Ongoing monitoring of perinatal deaths could help build the evidence base to drive better outcomes and that the AIHW was also working on improving the quality of data around contributory factors.”

“The report provides valuable information to enable effective policy, practice and services for mothers and babies.”

The details:

The full response will be available once formally tabled in the Senate at www.health.gov.au

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