The Rudd Government today hosted a roundtable in Canberra with women’s health experts to kickstart development of a new National Women’s Health policy.
A discussion paper launched today, New National Women’s Health Policy: Consultation Discussion Paper 2009 will encourage discussions between the Government, key women’s health groups, welfare groups and the Australian public on the make-up of a new National Women’s Health policy.
In developing the new policy, the Government is seeking submissions from today’s roundtable participants and will encourage other organisations such as health service providers or advocacy groups to make submissions.
Today’s roundtable will be the first of many opportunities women will have throughout 2009 to help shape development of the new national policy, and brings together representatives from key groups concerned with improving women’s health.
The current women’s health policy is now 20 years old. While there have been significant improvements in health outcomes since then, there is much that still needs to be done.
Too many women are still at risk of chronic illness, injury or even premature death because of factors like excessive alcohol consumption or smoking.
Australia needs a policy that continues to improve health outcomes for women, encourages the health system itself to be more responsive to women’s needs, promotes health equity among women, and gets women participating in health decision-making and management.
There will be consultations in each state and territory over the course of 2009 and the Government will be delivering the new National Women’s Health Policy in 2010.
This paper will be available from today on the Department of Health and Ageing’s website at www.health.gov.au/womenshealthpolicy
Looks like OII Australia will be sharpening its submission writing pencils.