Australia’s Queensland Government has launched an A$1bn ($648m) Women and Girls’ Health Strategy 2032 to enhance the healthcare experience for women and girls across the state.  

Since November 2022, the development of this strategy has been guided by community input. 

The public consultation process highlighted women’s key health concerns, such as sexual and reproductive health, mental health, maternity care, and other chronic conditions, such as endometriosis and pelvic pain.  

According to the government, this comprehensive strategy is the result of the largest public engagement in Queensland’s history, with nearly 12,000 contributions informing the allocation of this record investment. 

Under the new Women and Girls’ Health Strategy 2032, the government earmarked A$250m for 34 new initiatives, focusing on reducing health disparities and providing gender and trauma-informed care. 

A significant portion of the strategy’s funds, approximately A$26.95m, will be dedicated to bolstering mental health support through additional social workers, responding to the concern raised by 70% of survey participants.  

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This builds on the previously announced A$18m funding allocated to expand virtual and telephone mental health services and enhance the 13 HEALTH hotline for women’s health needs. 

The strategy also prioritises the needs of women and girls in regional, rural, and remote areas, with A$10.2m allocated for a free walk-in women’s health hub in the Far North and A$46m for four new clinics offering nurse-led care.  

All these initiatives aim to address the feelings of dismissal and misdiagnosis expressed by survey respondents. 

The strategy has also been informed by research from the Australian Women and Girls’ Health Research Centre at the University of Queensland.  

Queensland Women, Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Minister Shannon Fentiman said: “We know that one of the issues that came up repeatedly was access to mental health services, and I’m so proud that we are investing tens of millions of dollars into new and improved initiatives to deal with this issue.  

“This includes almost A$27m to boost social workers providing mental health care, including for women experiencing domestic and family violence.”