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Call for ‘every woman’ to share gender bias health stories


Jolyon Attwooll


6/09/2023 4:02:44 PM

The results of a newly launched survey will help shape policy to reduce gender inequities in the health system.

Female GP speaking to female patient
Evidence suggests women disproportionately experience delayed diagnosis, overprescribing, and a failure to properly investigate symptoms.

A call has gone out for people to share their experiences of gender bias when seeking healthcare.
 
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney said the feedback from a new survey will help shape policy to improve health outcomes for women and girls.
 
‘We have launched an online survey that I want every woman to go to the Department of Health and Aged Care [DoH] website and … take part in,’ she said.
 
‘This consultation process which will inform me and my colleagues about how we can best serve the women of Australia through the public health system.
 
‘I particularly want to hear from migrant women, from women of diverse backgrounds, from refugee women.’
 
She said the survey can be completed in 17 different languages. 
 
Anyone can contribute, including women, people health professionals, consumer representatives and peak stakeholder groups.
 
The feedback will go to the National Women’s Health Advisory Council ‘to better understand the unique barriers and gender bias women face in Australia’s healthcare system’.
 
‘Growing evidence has shown systemic issues in healthcare delivery and medical research mean women often suffer poorer health results,’ the DoH website states.
 
‘Women disproportionately experience delayed diagnosis, overprescribing, and a failure to properly investigate symptoms.’
 
On Wednesday, Assistant Minister Kearney said more than 1500 responses had already been received.
 
RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins sits on the National Women’s Health Advisory Council, which was formed this year, as a special adviser.
 
It was set up to provide recommendations to improve health outcomes for women and girls, and to advise on the implementation of the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–30. 
 
The survey is open until 13 October and is available on the DoH website.
 
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