Non-communicable diseases and injury (NCDI) are now the leading causes of death and disability for women in Australia and across most countries worldwide. On 9 April 2019, the Minister for Health launched the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 which aims to address this burden and improve the health and wellbeing of all women in Australia, especially those most at risk of being left behind. The strategy provides a framework for action and the government has committed $52 million to implement it.
The overarching principle of our Women’s Health Program in Australia is to promote a life-course approach to addressing women’s health issues. This approach recognises women’s and girls’ health and wellbeing from birth to death as interconnected periods, in which early health-related markers can be indicators for health outcomes later in life. There is inequity in women’s health nationally, in prevention, diagnosis and accessing treatments, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, those living in rural and remote areas, members of the LGBTQI community and minority groups most likely to be disadvantaged. Our program seeks to address these gaps to realize lifelong health, wellbeing, safety and productivity of all women, especially those most likely to be vulnerable and left behind.