More Sexual Health Support For Women In The West

26 April 2018

More women in Melbourne’s rapidly growing western suburbs will have better access to timely information and support for sexual and reproductive health issues as part of a new action plan.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy was in Altona today to officially launch Action for Equity: a sexual and reproductive health plan for Melbourne’s west 2018-2022, led by Women’s Health West.

It builds on the success of the first Action for Equity plan launched in 2013, and aims to tackle the social, cultural and economic drivers of inequities to keep improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes in the area.

The health promotion plan is based on evidence and research specifically tailored to the unique demographics of Melbourne’s western suburbs. It will challenge gender and cultural norms, reduce violence and discrimination, influence social policy and boost access to culturally appropriate healthcare.

The Andrews Labor Government is reducing the barriers and service gaps that affect women’s access to reproductive and sexual health services through Victoria’s first-ever Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, which is backed by $6.6 million in funding.

The strategy will also provide sexual and reproductive health training to refugee health nurses and allied health professionals in community health centres around the western suburbs.

To be provided in coming weeks, the training will focus on key reproductive health matters including endometriosis and menopause, and will upskill nurses to better support and raise awareness of women’s reproductive health issues in newly arrived migrant communities.

Actions from the strategy that have already commenced include:

  • 1800 My Options, Victoria’s first ever statewide sexual and reproductive health phone line
  • Four community-based women’s health hubs – located in Melbourne’s west, Frankston, Ballarat and Bendigo
  • Free facial hair laser treatment for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • A revamp of Family Planning Victoria’s Action Centre, to allow more women than ever to get the support and services they need.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Women’s sexual and reproductive health is vital to their overall health and wellbeing. That’s why we are working hard to improve access to the sexual and reproductive health information, support and services right on our doorstep in the West.”

“Women’s Health West is making a real difference breaking down the barriers and improving access. More women are now getting the timely, expert advice they need – without the stigma.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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