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Call to maintain health past COVID-19: Women's Health Week

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

Women’s Health Week message is to ensure essential health care is maintained.
Women’s Health Week message is to ensure essential health care is maintained.

It’s Women’s Health Week, the biggest week in Australia dedicated to good health and wellbeing for women and girls, and supporting the people who care for them.

Held in the first week of September every year since 2013, the health awareness campaign is a perfect time for women to put themselves and their health first.

While COVID-19 remains a massive public health concern, women of all ages continue to battle personal health and medical issues. While many Australian women are increasingly using services such as telehealth, some medical issues still require a visit to their GP or specialist.

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said obtaining essential health care is one of the allowable reasons for leaving home during a lockdown. “While some services have seen temporary interruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, our health system remains in a strong position to support Australian women with health challenges,” Mr Hunt said.

“Postponing screening, other diagnostic tests, or advice from a doctor, could allow a condition to worsen and make it more difficult to treat. The Australian healthcare system is there to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

A $535 million package of measures specifically for women’s health were announced in the 2021-22 Budget.

Thousands of women will benefit from the Major elements of the package include:

  • $100 million to improve cervical and breast cancer screening programs
  • $96 million to provide Medicare subsidies for testing of IVF embryos for genetic faults, before implantation
  • $47 million to increase support for the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents, including work on universal perinatal mental health screening, and
  • $26 million for women’s health initiatives, including funding to Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia for the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk).

The strategy 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.

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