16 May 2023
As a member of the Women’s Health Services Network, WHIN supports the Victorian State Government’s leadership and commitment to women’s health and gender equality as part of its policy and reform agenda. WHIN welcomes the Victorian Government’s election commitment to ‘give women’s health the focus and funding it deserves’ (15 Nov 2022, Media Release The Hon. Daniel Andrews).
As the only state infrastructure that delivers specialist expertise on intersectional gender equity for our health system – both regionally and state-wide – the Women’s Health Services are in a unique position to understand what investment and services are required to ensure that all Victorians are well.
We know that successful, thriving, and well-resourced public health systems invest in health promotion, as well as clinical services to address illness. By sustaining this investment over time, governments can strategically and practically reduce the pressure on our vastly overstretched public health system.
In the State Budget 2023, WHIN and the Women’s Health Services Network look forward to seeing progress on gender responsive budgeting, and, will be expecting investment from the Victorian Government that:
- Promotes primary prevention and health promotion for all Victorians.
- Delivers to all women and girls in Victoria, access to safe and high quality sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion healthcare, across the life course.
- Delivers investment in culturally safe, gender equitable mental healthcare and investment in the primary prevention of mental illness for women and girls.
- Invests in health services and programs based on data and evidence to address a broad range of women’s health issues,
Prevention investment lowers healthcare costs and, reduces the costs to the economy associated with premature death and years spent in ill health. As evidence submitted by the Women’s Health Services to the State (1) Government in 2022 shows, (2) increased investment in preventive health would pay for itself many times over.
The 2023 budget presents the opportunity for Government to make strides towards addressing generations of inequitable health outcomes for women. This sustained investment will deliver ongoing social and economic benefits.
1. The Business Case submitted to Victorian Treasury for the 2022 Budget by the Women’s Health Services demonstrates that for every $1 of primary prevention investment in the women’s health sector, the return on investment is prevention health measures is $468
2. Women’s Health Services 2022 Business Case to Victorian Treasury based on Australian Social Values Bank shows that for every $1 of primary prevention investment in the women’s health sector, the return on investment if $468.00 to the community in value.