Community-based women’s health care clinics across regional WA will receive a much-needed funding boost if The Nationals WA form Government after the State election.
Leader Mia Davies announced plans to establish a Regional Women’s Health and Wellbeing Fund, worth $15 million, while visiting the Hedland Well Women’s Centre today, alongside candidate for the Pilbara Scott Bourne.
“Women living in regional, rural and remote areas are often vulnerable and disadvantaged in accessing health care services,” Ms Davies said.
“As a result, demand for these services are consistently high, with service providers reporting long wait lists and a need to triage the most at-risk and vulnerable women.”
Ms Davies said the Regional Women’s Health and Wellbeing Fund would give an immediate funding top-up to five dedicated women’s health clinics in regional WA, located in South Hedland, Tom Price, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton and Bunbury.
“These centres provide a diverse range of services to meet the needs of women in their community, including health clinics, dietitians, counselling, cancer support and lactation services, as well as wellbeing events like cooking classes and morning teas.”
Ms Davies said WA’s regional centres currently share funding of around $1.3 million per year, restricting the services they are able to offer their communities.
“We’re committed to boosting that funding to $2.4 million per year for two years, to immediately expand service capacity and deliver more holistic and integrated services, like access to GPs, social workers, cancer support and other health professionals.
“During those two years we will also undertake a review to identify community needs, assess regions which need greater support, and develop a new funding pathway going forward.
“We will also commit $12.5 million to increase the reach of the network into other regions and allow existing centres to expand their premises and their services.”
Ms Davies said community-based services play a vital role in supporting the health and wellbeing of women by allowing access to services and advice in a less clinical context.
“These clinics provide a safe space for women of all ages and backgrounds to access specialist services, take part in a healthy cooking workshop, or just have a cuppa and a chat.”
Find out more about The Nationals WA election commitments at www.nationalswa.com