Women’s health to get budget boost
Women's services are tipped to be a winner in the federal budget with $354 million packages being spread across the issues of cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health.
Among the funding announced by federal health minister Greg Hunt and MP Dr Katie Allen on Sunday was a $100 million investment in improving cervical and breast cancer screening programs.
There will also be a $96 million injection for new tests under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) for pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos for specific genetic or chromosomal abnormalities prior to pregnancy.
A $47.4 million boost will be given to ensuring the mental welfare of new and expecting parents and $26.9 million in funding for people with eating disorders.
Kirsten Pilatti, chief executive Breast Cancer Network, said the funding would have an acute effect in regional areas.
"It will certainly help us to pave the way for better outcomes for Australians who were diagnosed," she said.
"I'm so proud that this funding will help to build on the community support that we have right around the country, and ensure that Breast Cancer Network Australia can take the very best emotional care experts out into regional Australia, where we know they are screaming for additional support right now."
Shadow minister for women, Tanya Plibersek said the money was a welcome step, however the opposition would scour over the details of the additional funding.
"This is a government that has spent as much over the last eight years on government advertising as it has on domestic violence," Ms Plibersek said.
"(Scott Morrison) is a classic ad-man. He is very good at the flashy headline, but you have to read the fine print afterwards to see what is really going on."
Mr Hunt also outlined $22 million for additional gynaecology items on the MBS, including items for Assisted Reproductive Technology and long-term reversible contraceptives.
Other funding schemes announced include:
- $21.6 million for women's health initiatives, including Jean Hailes for Women's Health and the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia for the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk)
- *$19.3 million for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing of Oripro (progesterone) to prevent women going into premature labour.
- $13.7 million for the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance to reduce pre-term birthrates.
- $6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.
Originally published as Women's health to get budget boost