To upgrade the profession to get it out of its deep crisis. Five times since the start of the year, midwives have taken to the streets to demand more recognition and staff. They are now 23,000 in activity in France, 97% of them women and work mainly in hospitals and clinics. Faced with “the deep and recurring malaise of midwives” as well as the “worrying degradation of the attractiveness of hospital posts”, the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs recommends several measures in a report published on Friday.
First of all, the Igas proposes to grant them “a specific public official status”, arguing that “only this statutory tailor-made solution would allow a complete and appropriate response”. He then recommends “a significant increase in their remuneration, all modes of exercise combined”, “the levels of remuneration being inadequate to the level of their responsibilities”, an “improvement of working conditions”, better access to continuing training and better reconciliation between professional and personal life.
Refocus their missions on the core business
The experts also consider it necessary to refocus their missions “on what constitutes their core business: the management of physiological pregnancy and gynecological follow-up”, judging that over the years “their missions have been the subject of successive extensions (in connection with abortion, vaccination, etc.) leading to the confusion of the identity of this profession ”. At the same time, midwives must regain their central place in the management of low-risk pregnancies and their sexual health “by organizing the coordination of the various professionals in an operational manner”.
The experts also recommend giving back a preponderant place to midwives in the various preventive actions, in particular “aimed at young people and vulnerable and precarious populations, who must constitute priority targets”. “Optimizing the use of midwives would help to clarify the course of women’s health,” says the Igas.
While some of the report’s proposals constitute progress for the National Union of Midwives (ONSSF), Caroline Combot, its deputy general secretary, said she had mixed feelings and waited for “government arbitration”.