Calls for women’s health services to be adequately funded in upcoming state budget
1992. Paul Keating is Prime Minister, the internet has only been around for three years, and Billy Ray Cyrus is topping the music charts with ‘Achy Breaky Heart’.
It was also the last year women’s health services were adequately funded, spawning a new campaign called “Fund Women’s Health in NSW”.
Launched by Women’s Health NSW ahead of the upcoming NSW budget on 21 June, the campaign is calling on the state government to ensure women’s health services are appropriately funded to provide the care women in need and deserve.
According to Women’s Health NSW pre-budget submission, the sector urgently needs $22.25 million annually to meet the growing demand for services. This funding would cover necessary running costs, baseline workforce, information and communication technology, cyber security, admin and operational costs, and physical infrastructure costs.
In simpler terms, the NSW government would be providing funding of just $166 per woman to have vital access to domestic violence support, counselling, cancer screenings, sexual health, amongst other women’s healthcare services.
The “Fund Women’s Health in NSW” campaign is seeking an investment in women’s healthcare that ensures funding keeps up with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Women’s Health NSW supports 21 centres across the state. They service as many as 40,000 clients annually, and are often the first port of call for women experiencing domestic violence, with 80% of clients having experienced some form of domestic and family violence.
A report commissioned by the NSW Ministry of Health noted the important role Women’s Health Centres play in providing healthcare to “women who may have otherwise have only received care via the acute system”. It found the centres played a crucial role in treating women and diverting patients away from overstretched emergency departments and general practices.
The report also found Women’s Health Centres contributed to positive health outcomes for women by preventing or delaying chronic disease, reducing intimate partner violence-related burden of disease, and reducing cancer-related burden of disease.
Women’s Health NSW has begun a letter writing and petition campaign ahead of the upcoming state budget, and is asking the community to write to their state MP’s to support investment in Women’s Health Centres. You can support this campaign here.