$354 million to support health and wellbeing of Australia’s women

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Morrison Government is investing $353.9 million over the next four years as part of the 2021-22 Budget to support women’s health, including funding for cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health.

This significant investment builds on our 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.

Key investment measures include:

  • $100.4 million for improvements to cervical and breast cancer screening programs which will help detect these life-threatening cancers earlier, improving survival rates.
  • $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;
  • $26.9 million to provide support for people with eating disorders and their families, noting that women account for almost two thirds of eating disorder diagnoses.
  • $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).
  • $19.3 million for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing of Oripro®️ (progesterone) to prevent women going into premature labour.
  • $13.7 million for the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance to reduce pre-term birth rates.
  • $6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Government was committed to improving health services around Australia for all women and girls, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“As part of today’s significant investment, $13.7 million will help to reduce the rate of preterm births in Australia, which affect 8% of births in Australia and up to 16% among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women,” Minister 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.”

Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne, said the Morrison Government’s investment in women’s health as part of the 2021-22 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. This complements BreastScreen Australia’s free mammogram services for women 50-69 years,” Minister Payne said.

“We’re also providing additional funding to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians suffering from Endometriosis. Affecting one in 9 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.”

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.

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