Assistant health minister Ged Kearney has launched the federal government's $16.4 million plan for the creation of at least 16 Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain GP Clinics.
Endometriosis is a painful, incurable and often debilitating condition that affects one in nine women in Australia. Sufferers can experience a range of symptoms, including severe pelvic pain.
The GP-led clinics aim to provide more focused support for diagnosis and treatment from multidisciplinary care teams.
In a statement, Minister Kearney said the government will now work with Primary Health Networks to identify general practices with strong experience in managing women’s health, endometriosis and pain management to become specialised clinics.
In addition to the clinics, the government has also committed $25.5 million to add a new pelvic MRI scan to Medicare. This is the first MRI scan listed on the MBS to investigate conditions that affect fertility.
“From the agony of pelvic pain to difficulties conceiving, women with endometriosis can suffer greatly in their day-to-day lives and they deserve better access to specialised care,” said Minister Kearney.
“Sufferers of endometriosis often experience delays to diagnosis and struggle to have their pain taken seriously – and it’s just not good enough. Having specialised clinics is an important step towards improving care and pain management for these women.
“Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain clinics will be a crucial front door for women who need answers and support. It will gather expertise under one roof, with the referral pathways in place for women to get the support they need.
“It’s important that women have access to the right diagnostic tools to improve diagnosis and treatment. Having this new MRI scan more widely available is a great step forward in supporting women with reproductive health and fertility issues.”