The federal government is rolling out Australia’s first endometriosis and pelvic pain clinics across the country.
The 20 clinics will provide expert, multidisciplinary services and care for women experiencing endometriosis and pelvic pain.
Endometriosis affects at least one in nine Australian women and can have an extensive, devastating impact on the daily lives of sufferers. Women with the disease wait an average of seven years before being diagnosed.
The government has increased its election commitment from 16 to 20 clinics, ensuring specialised, multidisciplinary care is available to more women across the country, with at least one clinic in every state and territory and a mix of regional and metropolitan locations.
The clinics will each receive more than $700,000 in funding over four years to support hiring specialised staff, including nurse practitioners and allied health professionals, investment in equipment or fit-outs such as pelvic physiotherapy areas, as well as resources, training and development.
Working in existing general practice, the clinics will aim to strengthen what is often the first point of contact in the health system to reduce diagnostic delays and promote early access to multi-disciplinary intervention, care and treatment.
As well as directly helping patients, the clinics will also raise awareness of endometriosis and pelvic pain, build professional knowledge and skills in the area, and improve access to information and care pathways.
“Too many women suffer for years with what we know can be debilitating conditions. They deserve to have their concerns be taken seriously with better access to specialised care,” Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney said.
“These clinics are about providing women with an accessible front door to the care that they need. Gathering expertise under one roof, fostering that knowledge to improve diagnosis and services, having referral pathways in place – these are all crucial elements to getting the support that women need right.”
The Clinics are part of the Albanese Government’s $58.3 million package for endometriosis and pelvic pain, announced in the 2022-23 Budget.
“The recognition of endometriosis and pelvic pain as serious conditions has been a long and hard-fought battle from fierce advocates in the sector and in our communities. I want to say to those people – thank you and we’re listening,” Ms Kearney said.
“We are a government that is committed to improving women’s health and this is a crucial step forward for part of the population that has too long been dismissed.”