Women in regional Victoria will have better access to sexual and reproductive healthcare closer to home with the locations for three more regional hubs being announced today.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested more than $10.5 million to deliver and expand the network of sexual and reproductive health hubs and establish three new regional hubs, bringing the total to 11.
The additional funding also extends the operating hours and scope of services at the eight existing hubs, to further improve women’s access to sexual and reproductive healthcare in regional Victoria.
The three new hubs will be based in Shepparton, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley with a range of services progressively introduced over the next four years at each location.
A major focus of the hubs will be on providing access to information and services on all forms of contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health.
The hubs can also provide a range of vital services including facilitating diagnosis and management of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), menopause and endometriosis, and promoting local access to cervical screening and Breast Screen services.
Early diagnosis of chronic conditions such as endometriosis that affect women’s sexual function and enjoyment, fertility and overall reproductive health is critical to better long-term outcomes.
With the addition of these three new hubs Victorians will now have 23 service locations across the state to access sexual and reproductive health care closer to home.
The new locations have been identified based on current demand and the availability of local women’s sexual and reproductive health services in these areas.
Staff in the new hubs will also have access to online and face-to-face training and support via Sexual Health Victoria (formerly Family Planning Victoria), Royal Women’s Hospital and the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health.
As stated by Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas
“Victorian women deserve access to quality sexual and reproductive healthcare regardless of where they live.”
“We’re ensuring Victorian people get access to the testing and information they need to make informed reproductive health decisions at all stages of their life.”
“These new hubs in Morwell, Warrnambool and Shepparton are about ensuring regional Victorians can get the care they need, close to home.”