The Albanese Government has established a National Women’s Health Advisory Council and its purpose is to address Australia's health disparities for women and girls, and this announcement was warmly welcomed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
The Council, which will be presided over by Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, will offer suggestions for enhancing the country's health system for women and girls, including the care for the following:
Moreover, this announcement will take into account health outcomes for women across a variety of illnesses, such as heart disease, autism, and cancer treatment. According to RACGP President Dr. Nicole Higgins, this is a development that will benefit women's and girls' health as well as address issues regarding inequity in Medicare rebates for certain conditions such as postnatal depression, childhood behavioural problems, and domestic violence.
Dr. Higgins also stated that this Council is just on time and it can also be used as an opportunity to improve the overall healthcare system of the country.
Does Australia Need a Fresh Perspective on Women’s Health?
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has cited studies as evidence of the need for a new strategy for women's healthcare in Australia, including drug prescriptions.
According to a recent study from the Australian National University (ANU), a number of sex-specific factors explain why women are 75% more likely than males to have negative medication reactions. According to the research, which examined over two million data points, the bad reaction rate cannot just be explained by the disparity in body sizes. Instead, a number of additional variables, such as iron levels, body temperature, fat stores, and heart rate variability, are involved.
This study is in line with the new Council from the Albanese Government. In order to address health disparities for women and girls in Australia, the Albanese Government established a National Women's Health Advisory Council, which was welcomed by the RACGP.
According to RACGP President Dr. Nicole Higgins, this study was only conducted on male cells. Thus, it should be noted that there might be different results when it comes to female cells as men and women are different. Moreover, Dr. Higgins also said that women are not just smaller versions of men. Thus, the treatment and care for all women should be improved.
Worse Health Outcomes for In-Home Aged Care without GP Involvement
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is concerned that the government's proposal for a new in-home aged care program excludes GPs and this could result in worse health outcomes for senior citizens.
Last December 5, 2022, the RACGP submitted a response regarding the Department of Health and Aged Care's new in-home aged care program. The RACGP said that this proposal is a wasted opportunity to assist GP-led care that is better integrated for the elderly.
According to RACGP President Dr. Nicole Higgins, the role of GPs in aged care is essential and many overlook it. GPs are key to maximizing elderly people's health and well-being, especially for those with chronic and complex diseases. Thus, the RACGP is calling for the policy to include the roles of general practitioners.
In line with this, The Government is urged to ensure that general practitioners are actively involved in this and future aged care changes going forward. GPs are crucial to the health and welfare of seniors, therefore we need a seat at the table.
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