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,” Women’s Health Loddon Mallee CEO Tricia Currie said.
“The investment in women’s health was a positive moment in a budget that, overall, still struggles to support women in our community.”
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.
Gender Equity Victoria’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 Health Services have shown through Treasury modelling that this investment will save the Victorian Government $41.2 billion.
“COVID-19 has been a public health disaster that requires a public health-led recovery,” Women’s Health in the South East CEO Kit McMahon said.
“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,” Women’s Health Goulburn North East CEO Amanda Kelly said.
“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.”
Chair of the Women’s Health Services Council
CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee
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