An $18 million investment by the Turnbull Government in a range of medical research projects will aim to improve the health of Australian women, marking the first step towards a new National Women’s Health Strategy.
The National Women’s Health Strategy 2020 – 2030, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of all women in Australia over the next decade, especially those at the greatest risk of poor health.
The Strategy is the first since 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2019.
It will identify what is required to improve health outcomes for women and girls and provide a framework for action.
Women experience health challenges differently to men and we need to ensure that this is reflected in our health system.
Maternal and infant health, chronic disease, healthy aging and mental illness and other conditions affecting women will be a major focus of the new national strategy.
The 29 new medical research projects into women’s health conditions is the first commitment of the new strategy.
The projects will zero in on significant health challenges that affect Australian women including breast cancer, maternal health, immunisation rates and cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in Australian women.
Specific research will include ways to reduce the failure rate of IVF, improve immunisation uptake in under-immunised children and pregnant women and seek new treatments for women with aggressive and metastatic breast cancer.
These cutting edge research projects have the potential to save many lives and change the way we approach women’s health.
Though females born in Australia in 2015 can expect to live to 84.5 years, women continue to face health challenges.
More than half of all women have a chronic disease and almost one in two Australian women will experience a mental health problem over the course of their lives.
Maintaining a healthy weight while pregnant is also a challenge for many women.
The women’s forum held in Canberra today is the first in a number of consultation opportunities for the development of the National Women’s Health Strategy.
The meeting involved more than 50 groups from a wide range of organisations including the Australasian Menopause Society, the Jean Hailes Foundation, the Australian Women’s Health Network, Butterfly Foundation and the Australian Medical Association.
A public consultation process will also take place later in the year.