For the first time, Australian women are invited to share their experiences in the health system to better inform policy development and improve health outcomes for women and girls.
From delayed diagnosis, over medicating, dismissal of pain or other symptoms, or a lack of research and evidence used to treat women, there are many unique challenges confronting women, including for those that are part of diverse communities like LGBTIQ people, that lead to poorer health outcomes.
An Australia-wide community consultation project begins today to understand the personal experiences of bias in the health system. Anyone can take part, including patients, health providers, researchers and other stakeholders.
The survey will be used to inform the work of the National Women’s Health Advisory Council. The Council provides advice and recommendations to Government to improve the health of women and girls, including monitoring the implementation of the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030.
The Council is looking at opportunities to address gender bias in the health system across four priority areas:
- access, care and outcomes
This community consultation will help the Council develop recommendations to reduce gender bias in health care and improve the health outcomes for women and girls in Australia.
Anyone can participate through the online portal, either by submitting a written statement, audio recording, completing the survey or all of the above. To ensure people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can have a say in their own language, all options can be completed in 17 languages.
To participate go to the online portal. The consultation closes on 13 October 2023.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
Ged Kearney MP
“I have heard from women across the country and what is undeniable is this: every woman has a story – but nobody has ever asked them to tell it.
“It’s unacceptable that conditions that affect mostly women often go under-researched, undiagnosed or untreated. And when it comes to conditions that affect everyone, we often lack the knowledge of how it might affect women’s bodies and physiology.
“I have heard from women across the country since we started this work, and I want to thank every woman who has told me their story.
“Now I want to hear from you. We can’t fix what we don’t know, and this is the critical next step in helping us understand people’s experiences.
“I encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed gender bias in the health system to take part, particularly people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to share their experiences in their own language.”