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The federal government is investing $1 million to develop digital tools to improve access to quality healthcare for women experiencing menopause.

Funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Partnership Project scheme, the commitment was announced today during Jean Hailes Women’s Health Week (5-11 September), which calls on women across the country to make good health a priority.

This year’s theme, ‘It’s all about you’, encourages women to put themselves first and take ownership of their health and wellbeing. Highlighted topics include the top five women’s health concerns: menopause and perimenopause, pelvic health, health checks, mental wellbeing, and physical activity.

The theme considered more important now than ever, on the back of results from the latest Jean Hailes National Women’s Health Survey, released today, which show over 40% of women in Australia reported that their physical and mental health had deteriorated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the federal government’s plan to improve menopause healthcare, researchers, led by Monash University endocrinologist, Professor Susan Davis, will develop an assessment and decision-making tool to ensure menopausal symptoms are not overlooked when women access care.

The tool will aim to ensure key information is immediately accessible to GPs, together with a self-assessment to be completed by women before their consultation, and will be integrated into GP software. The project will be undertaken in collaboration with the Australasian Menopause Society, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Making the announcement today, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney, said the decline in women’s health and wellbeing was of great concern.

“It’s really important that we continue to invest in tools and resources to improve women’s access to quality care,” Ms Kearney said.

“Australian women, girls, and gender-diverse people – especially those at greatest risk of poor health – deserve equal access to safe, effective, affordable and appropriate healthcare services and support that meet their needs.

“Menopause can wreak havoc to women’s daily lives, from significant pain, crippling anxiety and sleeplessness. That’s why it’s so important that we’re making it easier for women to have quality, accessible menopausal care from their GP.”