2 out of 3 women experience discrimination in healthcare

Women’s voices and experiences of medical misogyny will be put under the microscope by women’s health experts at the 2024 National Women’s Health Summit.

The Hon Ged Kearney MP
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Women’s voices and experiences of medical misogyny will be put under the microscope by women’s health experts at the 2024 National Women’s Health Summit.
 
Held at Parliament House on 14 March, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney will reveal the findings of the Australian-first #EndGenderBias survey.
 
Almost 3,000 women, healthcare professionals and peak stakeholder groups participated in the survey which asked Australian women to share their experiences of the health system.
 
Two out of three women reported health care-related bias and discrimination.
 
The most common aspects of care in which women experienced gender bias were in relation to diagnosis and treatment. Some women reported having symptoms or pain dismissed or were given insufficient treatment recommendations like paracetamol and a hot water bottle.
 
Consistent themes included feeling dismissed and disbelieved; being stereotyped as ‘hysterical’ and a ‘drama queen’. Women reported that their symptoms and pain were often attributed to other causes such as menstruation, lifestyle factors or even ‘faking it’.
 
One woman responded: “Within the first few moments of meeting me, [the doctor] had decided I was a ‘waste of time’, a hysterical woman with a non-urgent problem who was being dramatic.”
 
The Summit will bring together experts, policy-makers, community advocates, and women with lived experience to discuss how Australia can fundamentally transform the health system to improve access to health care, services and outcomes for women.
 
Among the speakers at the Summit are:

  • Sarah White, CEO of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health
  • Gabrielle Jackson, author of Pain and Prejudice
  • Nyadol Nyuon, Chair Harmony Alliance
  • Members of the Women’s Health Advisory Council

 
The Summit will also cover issues from birthing on country and maternity care, to medical research, access to health for rural women and women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, among other issues. 
 
The Summit has been funded by the Australian Government and organised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
 
More information can be found at www.womenshealthsummit.com.au/
 
Virtual registration is available via: https://tphe.eventsair.com/2024-womens-health-summit/virtual/Site/Register
 
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
Ged Kearney MP:
 
“The results of the #EndGenderBias survey whilst shocking are not surprising.
 
“For too long, women have been suffering unnecessarily. They’ve been dismissed, ignored and called hysterical.
 
“It is unacceptable that two thirds of women experience bias and discrimination in Australia’s health system. It’s time we acted on this.
 
“Women’s pain is real and the Albanese Labor Government is committed to addressing health outcomes for women and gender-bias in the health system.
 
“We know that bias against women in the health system leads to poorer health outcomes.
 
“Bringing together a host of experts, policy-makers, advocates and women with lived experience, the National Women’s Health Summit will be a turning point for women’s health in Australia”.

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