Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, doorstop - 6 September 2023

Read the transcript of Assistant Minister Kearney's doorstop on the call for submissions to women's health consultation during Women's Health Week.

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

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ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE GED KEARNEY: Good morning, everybody. I'm Ged Kearney, I'm the Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care. And I'm standing here today with my colleagues - please come and join us - with my wonderful Labor women colleagues, to say that the Albanese Labour Government is making women's health an absolute priority. We know that so many women find it difficult to access health care that they need, particularly in rural and regional areas. We know there are many barriers for women to get good health outcomes. But we also know that systemically the system is biased towards women in so many ways. And this is an issue that we are absolutely determined to fix. You can see that my colleagues here are joining me in this to say that this is going to be a priority. We know so many women have come to me and told me a story. Every woman has a story of how they have not been well served by the health system. And so we want to hear those stories in a formatted way that means that we can make good policy and fix the system for women of Australia.

So we have launched an online survey that I want every woman to go to the Department of Health and Aged Care website and actually take part in this consultation process which will inform me and my colleagues about how we can best serve the women of Australia through the public health system. I particularly want to hear from migrant women, from women of diverse backgrounds, from refugee women. You can actually give your story and tell us your story in up to 17 different languages through this website, through this portal. It's incredibly important. Some of the barriers we know that we hear from women when they tell us their stories is that they are simply not believed, that they are accused of all sorts of terrible things if they present with pain that the doctor has trouble diagnosing that they are "drug shopping", or that they are to use a terrible term "hysterical" or that they're over anxious, when actually in fact, there are serious medical conditions occurring. A prime example that everybody knows about is that 1 in 9 women suffer with endometriosis, which gives crippling pelvic pain and yet it takes on average around 7 years to be adequately diagnosed. We want a health system where women will be believed, where their symptoms are treated adequately and where they can live their best and full lives and the Albanese Labor Government is committed to doing just that. Thanks everybody.


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