Sexual Health Victoria (SHV) acknowledges the final report titled "Ending the Postcode Lottery: Addressing Barriers to Sexual, Maternity, and Reproductive Healthcare in Australia."
SHV extends our gratitude to the Senate for their recommendations, which strongly align with our own submission and the recommendations put forth by the Family Planning Alliance Australia.
Some of the key recommendations from our submission that were supported by the report include:
- Addressing Systemic Barriers: Efforts should be made to overcome barriers that hinder access to reproductive healthcare, considering factors such as geography, gender, socioeconomic status, and ability/disability. This ensures equitable access for all individuals.
- Establishing a National Taskforce: A diverse national task force should be formed to develop and monitor a comprehensive plan for universal access to reproductive healthcare. Experts from various fields and communities will collaborate to ensure inclusivity.
- Enhancing Affordability: Making reproductive health services more affordable is crucial. We propose providing free contraception for individuals under 25 and making abortion services free of cost.
- Improving Healthcare Coverage: Reviewing Medicare items and rebates can lead to better coverage for reproductive services. Expanding the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) coverage will enhance the accessibility and affordability of essential medications and contraceptives.
- Promoting Inclusivity: Reproductive healthcare should include all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances. We advocate for harmonizing abortion laws across Australia to ensure consistent access and rights.
By implementing these recommendations, Australia can make significant progress towards achieving universal access to reproductive healthcare. Empowering individuals to make informed choices about their reproductive health will improve their overall well-being.
We are currently reviewing the report and formulating a response. We intend to prioritise the recommendations made in the report for further advocacy.
Read SHV's submission to the Senate
Read the final Senate report.