The Morrison Government is investing $353.9 million over the next four years as part of this year’s federal budget to support women’s health, including funding for cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health.
This significant investment builds on the Morrison Government’s commitment to implementing the five priority areas of the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030 and improving long term health outcomes for women and girls.
The Morrison Government’s National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030 has five priority areas; maternal, sexual and reproductive health, healthy ageing, chronic conditions and preventive health, mental health, and the health impacts of violence against women and girls – core issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of women and girls.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the investment it would help women and girls living in Cairns and Far North Queensland.
“This investment from the Morrison Government will support new programs and expand existing programs in Cairns and Far North Queensland,” Mr Entsch said.
“This is good news for women and girls right across Cairns and Far North Queensland.
“Among these key measures, we will see $100.4 million for improvements to cervical and breast cancer screening programs, $26.9 million to provide support for people with eating disorders and their families and $6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.
“To help expectant parents, we are also investing $19.3 million for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing of Oripro®️ (progesterone) to prevent women going into premature labour, $47.4 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents, as well as $13.7 million for the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance to reduce pre-term birth rates.”
“Each of these investments will have a profound impact on those in Cairns and Far North Queensland.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Morrison Government was committed to improving health services around Australia for all women and girls, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“As part of this significant investment, $13.7 million will help to reduce the rate of preterm births in Australia, which affect 8 per cent of births in Australia and up to 16 per cent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women,” Mr Hunt said.
“We are also listing Oripro® (progesterone) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from June 1, which is used to prevent women going into premature labour, saving around 14,250 women up to $300 per course of treatment.
“Currently only couples of individuals, who are carriers of serious genetic disorders can only access PGT if they are able to pay privately.
“We’re investing $95.9 million for five new MBS items, ensuring all Australians can access this testing.”
Federal Minister for Women Senator Marise Payne said the Morrison Government’s investment in women’s health as part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget would benefit Australian women of all ages.
“To increase breast and cervical cancer survival rates and improve early detection, we’re investing more than $100 million, including $67 million to ensure women aged 70-74 have access to free mammograms,” Ms Payne said.
“This complements BreastScreen Australia’s free mammogram services for women 50–69 years.
“We are also providing additional funding to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians suffering from Endometriosis.
“Affecting one in nine women, Endometriosis can lead to severe chronic pain, and in some cases, infertility.
“Given over half the Australian population is made up of women, it’s important that we have equal access to health services and support.
“Our investment of $353.9 million into women’s health will benefit all Australians today and into the future.”
Other investments announced in the federal budget include:
- $95.9 million for new tests on the MBS for pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos for specific genetic or chromosomal abnormalities prior to implantation and pregnancy.
- $47.4 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents, including through funding for the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) helpline, and by working to deliver universal perinatal mental health screening and improved data collection across public antenatal and postnatal care settings;
- $22 million for additional gynaecology items on the MBS, including items for Assisted Reproductive Technology and long-term reversible contraceptives.
- $21.6 million for women’s health initiatives, including Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia for the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk).