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Proposed reproductive health hub to offer Tasmanian women better access to care


Paul Hayes


20/02/2018 3:54:22 PM

Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King and Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek today announced a $1m commitment to build a ‘reproductive health hub’ in Hobart, which would allow women to avoid costly interstate travel for vital health services.

Shadow Health Minister Catherine King wants to give Tasmanian women ‘the option to visit a standalone public clinic if they wish’.
Shadow Health Minister Catherine King wants to give Tasmanian women ‘the option to visit a standalone public clinic if they wish’.

The announcement comes after the recent closure of the state’s sole private abortion clinic, a move that has reportedly resulted in many Tasmanian women having to foot significant financial costs to access surgical abortions in Melbourne.
 
The new reproductive health hub, which would be established if Labor wins the next federal election, will provide surgical terminations as part of the public hospital system, with federal and state Labor parties to contribute to its ongoing costs.
 
‘The reproductive health hub will give Tasmanian women the option to visit a standalone public clinic if they wish,’ Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King said.
 
‘Abortion is legal in Tasmania, as it should be around Australia. But the closure of the state’s main private clinic has left women with few places to turn when a surgical termination is required, with the remaining private providers charging around $2500 for the procedure – unaffordable for most women.
 
‘Medical termination – RU486 – is not always suitable or preferred, and women shouldn’t be forced to travel interstate or pay thousands of dollars to access a health procedure they need.’
 
The RACGP is in favour of the development of a reproductive health hub, having previously called for more GP-led community-based services in Tasmania. RACGP Tasmania Chair Dr Jennifer Presser believes the new service would represent an opportunity to establish a collaborative, shared care clinic with GPs at the forefront.
 
‘This is a vulnerable period for women and they can’t be treated like commodities and passed on from service to service,’ Dr Presser told newsGP. ‘We agree that this is an excellent example of how GPs in the community can lead a collaborative service model within the public sector to the benefit of the community.’



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