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Statement on new government women's health initiatives

The George Institute congratulates the Australian Government today on its announcement of new initiatives to improve the health of women in Australia.

The restructure of maternity services with new national pregnancy guidelines recognising the importance of body mass index is an important step in addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. The injection of $2.5 million into improving the diagnosis, treatment, understanding and awareness of endometriosis, a condition estimated to affect 10% of women in Australia, is also vital in ensuring women have the best treatment and care possible.  
 
Kelly Thompson, Program manager for Women’s Health for The George Institute, said: “Recognising women’s health as a priority is fundamental to improving women’s health and equity both nationally and globally, and these steps align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to promote healthy lives, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 
 
“It’s essential that we have investment that recognises that women’s health risks expand far beyond acute episodes and fit into a broader context of well-being throughout their entire lives.”
 
Ms Thompson added that International Women’s Day next week is an important reminder to governments and health and research sectors that targeted solutions are urgently needed, especially given non-communicable diseases are responsible for two in every three deaths amongst women.
 
Recent research from The George Institute has already shown significant differences between both the treatment and risk factors for cardiovascular disease including how an ‘apple shape’ body is more strongly linked to the risk of heart attack in women than men. The George is also conducting research into the differences in stroke symptoms for women, pregnancy and NCD prevention, femicide and domestic violence including a project specifically focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait women with plans to expand into other areas of women’s health over the coming year.
 
The George Institute is a member on the Taskforce On Women and NCDs.