Endometriosis affects at least 1 in 9 Australian women and can have an extensive, devastating impact on the daily lives of sufferers, with those suffering waiting for an average of seven years before diagnosis.
Australia’s first Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinics are being established in all states and territories by the Albanese Labor Government. The 20 clinics will offer specialised and comprehensive services and treatment for women who have endometriosis and pelvic pain.
The effects of pelvic pain can be equally intricate and incapacitating, and its ramifications extend beyond the individual, with an estimated cost of $6 billion per annum to the Australian economy.
The Government has increased the commitment from 16 to 20 clinics, making specialised, multidisciplinary care available to more women across Australia, with at least one clinic in every state and territory and a mix of regional and metropolitan locations.
The Clinics will each receive more than $700,000 over four years, to support hiring specialised staff, including nurse practitioners and allied health professionals, investment in equipment or fit-outs such as pelvic physiotherapy areas, as well as resources, training and development.
Working in existing general practice, the clinics will strengthen what is often the first point of contact in the health system to reduce diagnostic delays and promote early access to multi-disciplinary intervention, care and treatment.
As well as directly helping patients, the clinics will raise awareness of endometriosis and pelvic pain, build professional knowledge and skills in this area, and improve access to information and care pathways.
Patients will be able to access the clinics by booking an appointment at one of the 20 attached clinics.
The Clinics are part of the Albanese Government’s $58.3 million package for endometriosis and pelvic pain, announced in the 2022-23 Budget.
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP said that recognising endometriosis and pelvic pain as severe conditions had been a long and hard-fought battle from fierce advocates in the sector and our communities.
“These Clinics are about providing women with an accessible front door to the care that they need. Gathering expertise under one roof, fostering that knowledge to improve diagnosis and services, and having referral pathways in place – are all crucial elements to getting the support that women need right.
“We are a government that is committed to improving women’s health, and this is a crucial step forward for part of the population that has too long been dismissed.”