The SPHERE Coalition made this submission in response to the recent call by Government into how to improve Sexual and Reproductive Health for women. This forms part of the priority areas of the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2033. AFMW is an active member of the SPHERE Coalition and shares this with its members.
Response to the Inquiry by the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs [Extract]
6 December 2022
Summary of key recommendations for achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health information, treatment and services that offer options to women to empower
choice and control in decision-making about their bodies.
1. Remove barriers to contraceptive access by providing free contraception and incentivising primary care health practitioner training in contraceptive service provision.
2. Ensure availability of essential sexual and reproductive health services (particularly for rural and regional Australian women) through regional level planning, training and accountability for contraception and abortion access via publicly funded community and hospital-based services.
3. Expand the health workforce by enabling nurses, midwives and pharmacists to work to their full scope of practice in contraception and abortion care, with appropriate remuneration and training opportunities.
4. Develop coordinated public health campaigns and related education materials to improve health literacy around rights and options for accessing effective contraception and abortion care.
5. Formally track progress on delivery of the outcomes of the National Women’s Health Strategy by developing a transparent, comprehensive, nationally agreed implementation plan and key performance indicators, and report against these on an annual basis.
Professor Danielle Mazza
MD, MBBS, FRACGP, DRANZCOG, Grad Dip Women’s Health, GAICD, CF
Chief Investigator and Director, SPHERE
Chair, SPHERE Coalition
Click here to view (640kb PDF)
Associate Professor Magdalena Simonis AM is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020). She is a full time clinician who also holds positions on several not for profit organisations, driven by her passion for bridging gaps across the health sector. She is a leading women’s health expert, keynote speaker, climate change and gender equity advocate and government advisor.
Magdalena was awarded a lifetime membership of the RACGP for her contributions which include past chair of Women in General Practice, longstanding contribution to the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, the RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is regularly invited to comment on primary care research though mainstream and medical media and contributes articles on various health issues through newsGP and other publications.
Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews. She is author of the RACGP Guide on Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery and co-reviewer of the RACGP Red Book Women’s Health Chapter, and reviewer of the RACGP White book
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner, she undertakes general practice research and is a GP Educator with the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence, which develops education tools to assist the primary care sector identify, respond to and manage family violence . Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of the Melbourne University Teaching Health Clinics and the elected GP representative to the AMA Federal Council. In 2022. she was award the AMA (Vic) Patrick Pritzwald-Steggman Award 2022, which celebrates a doctor who has made an exceptional contribution to the wellbeing of their colleagues and the community and was listed as Women’s Agenda 2022 finalist for Emerging Leader in Health.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) in 2021. In 2023, A/Professor Simonis was included on the King’s COVID-19 Champion’s list and was also awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for significant service to medicine through a range of roles and to women’s health.