Women contribute to our community in many ways and have influential roles in keeping our children, families and communities growing. They are also the greatest consumers of the health system, so investing in keeping women well is essential as the broader effect of women's physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing is part of all settings.
In early 2010, the Women’s Health Clinical Support Programs (WHCSP) convened a women’s health reference group that identified the need to develop a women’s health strategy that would highlight specific health needs and a strategic direction for women’s health in Western Australia (WA).
The Western Australian Women's Health Strategy 2013-2017 (the Strategy) was subsequently written and was endorsed by the Minister for Health in 2013. The aim of the Strategy is to improve and promote the health and wellbeing of WA women, particularly those who are at most risk of poor health outcomes. The Strategy also highlights priority areas for women’s health in order to achieve better health outcomes into the future.
Complementary to the Strategy, the community based women’s health services have developed a 10 Point Plan of Action – For Women’s Health and Wellbeing 2011-2015 (the Plan). Collaboration has been strong between Women and Newborn Health Service and the community based sector throughout the implementation of both the Strategy and the Plan, and the community based women’s health sector – through the Women’s Community Health Network WA – are key partners in working toward better health for women and their families across WA.
Both the Strategy and the Plan promote substantive equality and social inclusion by focusing on priority areas and high risk groups of women that need targeted action. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience poorer health across almost all health areas compared to non-Indigenous women. As such, the health of Aboriginal women in WA is the benchmark for all women in the State.
In addition, a Women’s Health Senior Officer’s Group (WHSOG) was established with key stakeholders from WA Health and community based partners. The purpose of the WHSOG is to progress the Strategy through:
As part of the work of the WHSOG, an annual action plan will be created with a range of activities from across the Department of Health. Each plan will be reviewed at the end of the year and published in an Annual Action Plan Statement by Women and Newborn Health Service, Women's Health Clinical Care Unit.
To complement the Women's Health Strategy, the Women's Health Clinical Support Programs has developed "A snapshot of women's health in WA". The snapshot draws attention to the current state of health for women across WA and presents self-report data, burden of disease information, and top five causes of death. It also highlights the Women's Health Strategy priority areas of family and domestic violence and sexual assault, mental health, chronic disease and sexual health.
For more information, please contact us.