The Victorian Government’s announcement of the first two community health hubs is a signal to the rest of the country that sexual and reproductive health should be given greater priority in health care planning.
Marie Stopes Australia Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Thompson, said the hubs are a good way of de-stigmatising sexual and reproductive health services and providing women with local health care.
“There are still many elements of sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception that are deeply stigmatised. Co-locating services in local communities is an important way to address this,” Ms Thompson said.
Ms Thompson has welcomed the commitment from the Victorian Government to locate three of the six hubs in regional areas, including the first in Bendigo.
“Across the nation we still have a gap in health services and health outcomes between women in our cities versus women in our rural areas. And this gap is even wider when it comes to sexual and reproductive health services.
“This is why it is important that governments invest in and plan for more services and support in rural areas.
This announcement from the Victorian Government is a step in the right direction”, Ms Thompson said.