Victoria’s first clinic focused on women’s heart health is saving lives, increasing awareness and delivering more tailored treatments for women with cardiovascular disease.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today visited The Alfred’s Women’s Heart Clinic, a specialist service set up to respond to the gap in preventive heart health services for women.
The clinic is staffed by specialists with particular interest and skill in female-specific research and women-centred healthcare.
In the past six months, referrals have increased by more than 40 per cent and the clinic has now supported more than 300 women across hundreds of consultations. To meet a forecast increase in demand, the hospital will triple the clinic’s capacity by early next year.
The clinic offers face-to-face and telehealth appointments, ensuring women across the state can access the service.
Inspired by similar work in the United States, the clinic is seeking to increase the profile and understanding of women’s heart disease in both the general community and the medical community.
Heart disease in women has traditionally been under treated, despite risk factors for women being amplified at various stages of life, including during pregnancy. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women globally, and an average of 20 Australian women die of heart-related problems each day.
The clinic is being funded through the Andrews Labor Government's record investment in the health care system, which saw Alfred Health receive more than $1 billion last financial year alone.
It builds on a range of initiatives focused on improving women’s health, including the construction of the new Barwon Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the recently opened Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
As part of the Victorian Budget 2022/23, $19.4 million was provided to 12 Women’s Health Services to improve access to tailored health information and increase reproductive health research.
Last year’s Budget also included $70 million for public IVF services, $6.9 million for community perinatal health teams and $6.5 million for sexual and reproductive health hubs across the state.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“The Alfred Women's Heart Clinic is leading world-class research, diagnosis and specialist care right here in Victoria, to help us better understand and prevent the leading cause of death for women worldwide.”
“Through both face-to-face and telehealth appointments, the clinic will boost heart health for women in every corner of our state – and most importantly, it will save Victorian lives.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas
“Women often have poorer heart health outcomes than men and that’s why we back services like this one – so all Victorian women can get the care they need to live longer, healthier and happier lives.”
Reviewed 18 August 2022