A new Women’s Health hub will be established at Kyneton Hospital with funding from the state government.

The service will provide free or low-cost care including contraception, medical abortion, referral for surgical abortion and sexual health testing and treatment.

Member for Macedon and Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas joined Premier Jacinta Allan last week to announce that Kyneton is one of six new Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Hubs locations. Other hubs have been funded in Western Health (Melton), IPC Health (Wyndham Vale), DPV Health (Broadmeadows), Grampians Health (Horsham and Stawell) and East Grampians Health (Ararat). The six new locations will bring to 20 the number of centres offering similar services across the state.

Premier Jacinta Allan said the hubs would help to address the very real gender gap in health service provision. “With these hubs, we’ll help make sure more women can get the affordable and accessible care they need.”

Hubs were selected following extensive sector consultation and are expected to help at least 4,000 more girls and women access sexual and reproductive health services every year.

The workforce supporting the hubs will also benefit from a Women’s Health Scholarship program to address existing skills and knowledge shortages in women’s health. More than 100 scholarships are being offered creating chances to upskill in areas like IUD insertion, sexual and reproductive health, pelvic physio training, menopause and PCOS. The scholarships also fund training to promote cultural safety and remove existing barriers for First Nations women, women from migrant and refugee backgrounds and LGBTIQA+ communities.

The government’s Inquiry into Women’s Pain continues to hear directly from women and girls about their experience of pain and accessing care. A public submission and survey process is currently underway with close to 9,000 responses to date – Victorian women are encouraged to ensure their voices are heard before submissions close in just over a month, on 31 July. Submissions can be made at: www.health.vic.gov.au/inquiry-into-womens-pain

This article is based on a media release from the office of Mary-Anne Thomas MP.