Surgical termination of pregnancy to commence in Tasmania

Evelyn Lewin

19/11/2018 3:56:38 PM

The Department of Health has announced a new clinic to provide low-cost surgical termination of pregnancy.

Many women have travelled to Victoria – at significant cost – to access a surgical termination of pregnancy since the closure of Tasmania’s previous provider of this service.
Many women have travelled to Victoria – at significant cost – to access a surgical termination of pregnancy since the closure of Tasmania’s previous provider of this service.

The clinic offers a more affordable option for women who currently need to travel interstate or rely on expensive private clinics for such procedures. It follows the closure of the state’s only dedicated surgical termination clinic late last year.
This new, low-cost service is being provided by Melbourne-based Hampton Park Women’s Health Care.
Fortnightly clinics will commence from 28 November, though this may increase to weekly services depending on demand. The service will charge a standard fee of $475.
Chair of RACGP Tasmania, Dr Jenny Presser, welcomes this new development. Statistically, she said Tasmanian GPs see ‘up to 80%’ of women seeking termination of pregnancy services in their state.
It is for this reason, she said, that a clear understanding of treatment pathways available within, or supported by, the Tasmanian health system is ‘vital’ to providing timely access to those services.
‘RACGP Tasmania applauds the Tasmanian Government for securing services for Tasmanians in what is a very vulnerable health context,’ Dr Presser told newsGP. ‘Further expansion of access and open communication are an important next step in ensure equitable treatment for Tasmanian women.’
In contrast to the low-cost new service, surgical termination of pregnancy at Tasmania’s remaining private gynaecological clinics costs around $2500, which Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King has described as ‘unaffordable for most women’.
Referrals for the new clinic have already been taken, with Primary Health Tasmania providing GPs with material to ensure they have the information necessary to properly work with patients.
Direct referral to the service will be available from today, with women seeking a termination able to access the service directly themselves. Following referral, the provider will then consult directly with the referred patient.
Patients who need to travel within the state can also access the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme, including for women who self-refer.
To ensure ongoing support to women, the Department of Health is also providing increased funding to Prescribed Health Services, and Pregnancy Counselling and Support Tasmania.
Tasmania’s last dedicated surgical provider of pregnancy termination closed its doors in Hobart late last year.
Dr Paul Hyland, who had been the state’s primary provider of surgical terminations for 17 years, told the ABC in January that low demand and rising costs were behind that move. He said the majority of women accessing termination in Tasmania used a medical abortion, which is available up to nine weeks’ gestation.
However, he said there is a need for women who present for surgical termination beyond nine weeks.
‘No private provider is going to do it so the Government is going to have to do something about it, bearing in mind their budget, values and politics,’ he said.
The announcement of this new surgical termination clinic follows the $1 million commitment announced by Shadow Minister Catherine King and Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek in February to build a ‘reproductive hub’ in Hobart.
Low-cost medical termination of pregnancy services, for less than nine weeks’ gestation, are available in all regions of Tasmania at GP practices and in specialist GP-run services.

surgical termination of pregnancy tasmania womens health

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Eli   20/11/2018 8:02:37 AM

475$ to terminate the life of a most tiny and vulnerable human being, quite cheap isn’t it?

C Guerra   21/11/2018 11:38:13 AM

Primun non nocero: First, do no harm.