Health & Wellness

Could This Force The Government To Finally Prioritise Women’s Health?

The Inquiry into Women’s Pain is a huge leap for women's health in Australia.

The Victorian Government have launched Australia’s first inquiry into women’s pain.

The inquiry is part of the Allan Labor Government’s $153 million commitment into transforming women’s health, which began with a landmark survey of women’s pain across the state.

The results of the survey revealed that almost half of all women are impacted by pain related to periods, pregnancy, birth, postnatal care and conditions such as endometriosis.

Historically, women have always been at a medical disadvantage, with the large majority of medical research having been based on male bodies. Women have also faced systemic discrimination within medical system with it not being uncommon for medical practitioners to dismiss women’s pain. The survey’s results supports these notions, with one in three survey respondents reporting an experience with insensitive or disrespectful practitioners who left them either feeling dismissed and unheard.

This wasn’t the only concerning result from the survey. The results also revealed that 50 per cent of women saying pregnancy and birth complications continued to impact their health, and four in 10 Victorian women live with chronic pain.

In response to the survey results, Premier Jacinta Allan has said, “This won’t be a mic drop moment for the majority of Victoria’s population, because every woman has either experienced it for herself or knows someone who has. But now we have the evidence to prove it.

“It’s time we stopped treating women’s health like some kind of niche issue. We deserve to have our pain believed and relieved.”

The Inquiry Into Women’s Pain is an Australian first.

Led by a panel of experts and overseen by the Women’s Health Advisory Council, The Inquiry Into Women’s Pain will dig further into these results by listening to women across across Victoria and examining systemic issues.

The Victorian Labor government is also working towards establishing 20 new comprehensive women’s health clinics with specialists in gynaecology, urology and allied health, which aims to give women more access to support for conditions including, endometriosis, pelvic pain and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The government is also doubling the amount of endo and associated surgeries in the next four years, and offer scholarships for hundreds more women’s healthcare specialists.

Additionally, nine more sexual and reproductive health hubs are being established across Victoria, which will offer free or low-cost services and advice for contraception, pregnancy termination and sexual health testing and treatment.

If you live in Victoria and want to be involved in the inquiry, submissions open on 30th January.

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