As Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care I’ve made tackling gender bias, ‘medical misogyny’, my mission.
For too long, women and girls have faced too many barriers to accessing appropriate healthcare. Whether through delayed diagnosis, the over or under prescribing of medication, or flat out dismissal of their pain, women across Australia often suffer poorer health outcomes.
The Albanese Labor Government is working hard to address inequities in the health system – and we’re just getting started.
National Women’s Health Council:
I established the National Women’s Health Council to provide strategic advice and recommendations on how to improve Australia’s health system to provide better, more targeted and effective healthcare for women and girls across the country.
The Council was launched in 2023, and in my role as chair I’ve worked to establish four subcommittees and areas of focus. These are:
- Access, care, and outcomes
The Council will deliver practical, tangible and achievable advice on how best to address the challenges of priority populations.
This year, the Council launched the #EndGenderBias Survey to better understand the barriers and bias women and people assigned female at birth, face in the health system.
Every woman has a story, and our government is committed to listening.
Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics
An enormous number of women suffer pelvic pain and are often told it’s completely normal – to shut up and put up with it.
We know that in Australia at least 1 in 9 girls and women suffer from Endometriosis. On average, women wait around 7 years between first seeking medical help and receiving a diagnosis. This is unacceptable.
That’s why the Albanese Labor Government is funding Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics in every state and territory – to improve access to diagnostic and treatment services, to build the primary care workforce to better manage endometriosis, and improve access to new information and care pathways.
We’ve opened 22 new Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics so far – see the full list of locations here.
We’re tackling one of the most significant women’s health issues head-on.
In November, I announced a $48.2 million investment through the National Strategy for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer to make sure that we’re on track to eradicate cervical cancer in Australia by 2035.
This investment will be made over four years and will improve access to screening and follow up services, as well as provide better data access to target vaccination efforts.
Our Government welcomed the TGA’s decision to remove a number of restrictions on health professionals who prescribe and dispense MS-2 Step (mifepristone and misoprostol).
Australia is now in line with comparable countries, such as Canada, providing further access to health care for women seeking a medical termination.
This will make it easier for all women – particularly in regional and remote Australian communities, to access the healthcare they need.