MEDIA STATEMENT: 9 NOVEMBER 2021
The inaugural meeting for the Parliamentary Friends of Women’s Health was held today in NSW Parliament. Parliamentary Friendship Groups are established by Members of Parliament to raise awareness of key issues, increase liaison with related stakeholders, and to encourage cross-party collaboration on important issues that may need Parliament’s attention. Animal Justice Party MP the Hon. Emma Hurst will serve as Chair, with the Hon. Penny Sharpe (Labor Party), the Hon. Catherine Cusack (Liberal Party), and Ms Abigail Boyd (Greens) serving as co-deputies.
Women’s health continues to be overlooked in NSW and across Australia. Funding for research into symptoms, pain and treatments associated with diseases affecting women is insufficient, and women find their pain symptoms are often dismissed by medical professionals.
Please see quotes below from the Hon. Emma Hurst MLC:
Australian women continue to struggle to have their health issues recognised as legitimate, with a 2021 national survey revealing that more than one in three women say they've had health concerns dismissed by a GP, and are twice as likely to feel dismissed by their GP than men.
Research paints a disturbing picture of this growing global health issue, finding that women admitted to emergency departments are less likely to be taken seriously, are less likely to be given effective painkillers after surgery, and are more likely to referred to psychological services when describing symptoms of pain.
An early focus of the Parliamentary Friends of Women’s Health will be to address the painful conditions of endometriosis and adenomyosis. Endometriosis affects over 260,000 women in NSW, yet a diagnosis still takes an average of 7 years. Adenomyosis, a condition often described as the ‘evil cousin of endometriosis’, is even less understood in the community, despite the fact that the condition may affect between 20% to 65% of females.
Too many women have suffered from these diseases for far longer than they should have because of the difficulty of getting a diagnosis, and the lack of understanding of the illnesses. Now that a group of passionate cross-party MPs have come together to take action on women’s health issues, I am hopeful that we will see some much needed progress in this space.
MEDIA CONTACT: ROSIE RAYNS, 0401 991 792