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RANZCOG statement on 2020-2021 Australian Federal Budget

06 October 2020


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists makes the following comments following tonight’s federal budget.

Health spending

RANZCOG welcomes the overall health spending and funding for hospitals.

RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach said: “Strategic investment in our health system is the key to effective delivery and sustainability of healthcare in Australia.

“Australian women have a right to expect high quality healthcare, either through the public or private system. Increased funding should be directed towards improvements in the quality of health services and ensuring equity of access for all women and their families.”

Stronger Rural Health Strategy

RANZCOG welcomes the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy, giving doctors more opportunities to train and practise in rural and remote Australia, and recognising the important role of nurses and allied health professional in the delivery of multidisciplinary, team-based primary care. RANZCOG will work collaboratively with the Colleges of General Practice and Rural and Remote Medicine, our midwifery colleagues, and other health professionals, to provide education and training through existing, and new, training hubs.

RANZCOG is committed to ensuring that women living and working in regional, rural and remote Australia receive high quality obstetric and gynaecological healthcare throughout every stage of their lives.

“It is a fact that women in rural and remote communities have reduced access to health services. That is why the College is working on a number of initiatives to ensure O&G specialists and GP Obstetricians have the skills and support to provide appropriate care. We are grateful to Minister Coulton and National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Ruth Stewart for engaging with the College and considering our proposals for projects designed to improve the standard and quality of care for women in rural and remote communities,” Dr Roach said.
 
RANZCOG acknowledges that workforce maldistribution especially in rural, regional and remote areas, is an issue facing all specialities including obstetrics and gynaecology. “We need urgent Government action to preserve maternity services in these areas. A maternity unit and GP Obstetricians underpin health services for non-metropolitan areas,” Dr Roach said.

Prioritising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
 
RANZCOG welcomes the $4 billion in Indigenous health funding over the coming four years, including $975.5 million in 2020–21.
 
RANZCOG is committed to achieving equity in health for all Australians. “We cannot continue to accept stark disparity in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families. Equitable access to high-quality, culturally safe healthcare is achievable with well-directed and adequately funded programs.

“We are ready to work with the Federal Government on a number of initiatives directed towards improved and equitable health outcomes,” Dr Roach said.

Improving Access to Medicines

RANZCOG welcomes the listing of Lynparza on the PBS. This will mean that more women will have access to this important medication in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Mental health support

RANZCOG welcomes the unprecedented mental health support contained in the budget, and calls for a renewed focus on perinatal mental health and ensuring parents in need are able to access the support that they need to recover.

Investing in life-saving medical research

RANZCOG said investment in medical research would ensure funding to help tackle women’s health issues and ensure better health outcomes.

Unique Device Identification (UDI) System for medical devices

RANZCOG welcomes the establishment of a Unique Device Identification (UDI) System for medical devices, protecting patient safety and allowing for a quick response to any safety issues that may arise with implanted devices.

“We know many Australian women suffered physical and mental pain and distress caused by complications arising from pelvic mesh implants, particularly those used for the treatment of vaginal prolapse,” Dr Roach said. “We welcome all measures to improve the safety and monitoring of mesh and other medical devices.”

For media enquiries
 
Andre Khoury
Head of Communications and Public Affairs
t 61 3 9114 3923   m +61 448 735 749
[email protected]
 



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