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We’re the peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women

Women’s Health in the Federal Budget – not enough support for Victorian women

Women’s Health Services were pleased to see last night’s Federal Budget recognise the need for specific sustained support to address the crisis in women’s health, however this is not enough to support women in Victoria.

“At a time when women are suffering greater levels of mental distress and ill health and, more women are dying because of family violence, we are fighting to have a gendered lens on all health policy and services. The investment in women’s health was a positive moment in a budget that overall, still struggles to support women in our community,” said Tricia Currie, CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee

The Victorian Women’s Health Sector – the only structure in Victoria to apply an intersectional gender lens to the Victorian Public Health system – has called for the Victorian Government to increase investment for women’s health. GEN VIC’s Recovery and Resilience State Budget Submission recognises the value of health promotion to women and community and the savings that investment in primary prevention and health promotion will return to the Victorian Health system.

Evidence globally and locally shows that investment in women’s health – and health promotion and primary prevention –prevents illness and death, builds community and saves government money.

Currently Victorian Government invests $2.05 per women in Victoria to prevent ill health. Victorian’s women’s health services are asking for this to be increased by $5.75 per woman with dedicated investments in women with disabilities, LGBTIQ women, trans and gender diverse people, Aboriginal women and migrant and refugee women.

Drawing on health economics and the government’s own data and commissioned research, Victorian Women’s Services have shown through Treasury modelling that this investment will save the Victorian Government will save $41.2 billion.

“COVID-19 has been a public health disaster that requires a public health-led recovery,” said Kit McMahon, CEO Women’s Health in the South East. “Victorian Women’s Health Services know how to apply a gender lens to our health system to reduce the burden of disease and strengthen wellbeing of our community.”

“We acknowledge the investment already undertaken by the State Government in clinical medical support for women’s health – but it is not complete. We also need to, and can, prevent women getting into hospital.  We have a world leading structure for women’s health promotion and one ready to apply the much-needed gender lens to our health system ready to go – an extra $5.75 per woman is not too much to ask to save our state billions of dollars,” said Amanda Kelly, CEO of Women’s Health Goulbourn North-East.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES.  Tricia Currie, Chair of the Women’s Health Services Council, CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee. Email: tcurrie@whlm.org.au Phone: 0428365929

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