The Victorian Government has launched a landmark inquiry into women’s pain. The move follows the release of the survey dedicated to women’s health which confirmed that women’s pain is real and consistently overlooked.
The survey showed that half of all women are impacted by issues related to periods, pregnancy, birth, postnatal care, or other conditions such as endometriosis. 60 per cent of participants reported positive healthcare interactions, but one in three said that they had experienced disrespectful practitioners who left them feeling dismissed and unheard.
The Inquiry will examine systematic issues and solutions and hear directly from women across Victoria. The panel will be led by Women’s Health Advisory Council, submissions are set to open on 30 January.
Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said, “This won’t be a mic drop moment for the majority of Victoria’s population, because every woman has either experienced it for herself or knows someone who has. But now we have the evidence to prove it.”
“It’s time we stopped treating women’s health like some kind of niche issue. We deserve to have our pain believed and relieved.”
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia welcomed the Inquiry. Victorian Branch Vice President, Grace Chong, said: “This inquiry is an important opportunity to improve the care and treatment of pain conditions for girls and women across Victoria.
“By listening to the pain and pain management experiences of girls and women, this inquiry will identify the issues and opportunities to improve the care, treatment and services of pain conditions.
“Pain is an issue that many Victorian women suffer from every day. In fact, a recent Victorian Government survey found that four in 10 women in this state live with chronic pain.
“Whether this is pain associated with periods, pregnancy and birth related pain, or for the management of conditions like endometriosis, or the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, it is vital that girls and women are confident they can access treatment and care from a trusted health practitioner, which can, of course, include their community pharmacist.
“The Guild also encourages community pharmacists to make a submission to this inquiry. Sharing your experiences of the current care, treatment and services for pain conditions as part of this inquiry will help to identify opportunities for future improvement.”