Thursday, 26 August 2021
[by video link] My office met recently with Professor Helena Teede, the director of Monash University's Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation. Professor Teede has an impressive resume in women's health research. She currently leads a team of 150 staff and students which focuses on women's and children's health, and her passion is translating the evidence in order to produce better health outcomes.
There is a lot of alignment between the work of Professor Teede and the health issues I have sought to advance during my time in the Senate—issues such as IVF; foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and alcohol labelling; improved access to cancer clinical trials; data transparency; and the better use of data to improve health outcomes. So I take great interest in what she is now proposing: a national institute of women's public health and wellbeing. This institute would harness existing funding and existing data and would leverage knowledge and expertise across researchers, health services, the community and women themselves. It would deliver a holistic approach to women's health and wellbeing across all stages of life. The aim is to work in partnership to deliver co-designed research, training and healthcare improvement. The national institute would be led by women, work for women and be delivered by women.
The proposal aligns very much with the 10-year National Preventive Health Strategy the federal government is currently developing and perfectly fits with the stated aims of the National Women's Health Strategy 2022-2030. That strategy also recognises the importance of collaboration and cooperation between governments, the health sector, community and industry organisations, communities and women themselves. If we want to improve health outcomes, we need to move with this proposal. I understand the government is currently looking at this, and I sincerely hope it will give it serious consideration.