Essay On Women's Health Policy

1914 Words8 Pages
Australian social policy is extensive and covers a number of areas in relation to different groups of citizens in society. Although these policies are intended to benefit the community, it is important that issues existing in the system are addressed. Health in particular is an area of social policy that affects every Australian at some point, and so it is essential that policies be implemented to ensure equity and wellbeing among all members of the community. For the purpose of this essay, only health in relation to women will be explored. There will be a particular focus on the impact health policies have had on women over time, as well as why there have been significant policy changes. Current issues in the delivery of these services and why these issues have emerged will also be discussed in detail. Whilst there are several definitions that shape the term social policy, generally, the concept can be outlined as a framework of guidelines with the purpose of addressing and achieving citizen wellbeing in a particular area of interest. (Carson & Kerr, 2014). There are a number of health policies in Australia that have been developed and implemented over time to encourage equity and fairness among women. One major Australian policy known as The National Women’s Health policy was documented in 1988 and accepted for practice by Commonwealth and State governments in 1989 to advocate equal rights for women’s healthcare. (Lee, Dobson, Brown, Bryson, Byles, Warner-Smith & Young, 2005). The policy was established only after the Queen Victoria Hospital, a women’s healthcare facility in Melbourne, became linked with Monash University and opened to male staff in 1964. The hospital was originally staffed only by women who weren’t allowed ... ... middle of paper ... ...o be heard, and to have their health and wellbeing considered and attended to. The updated version of the policy focused on maintaining and improving the action plan of the original, however it aims to consider all women including those of different race and socioeconomic status, with a strong focus on prevention and education. Whilst Australia’s healthcare system has been significantly improved, it is important to recognise that some women are still disadvantaged and the system could still be reviewed and altered regarding many issues including healthcare of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women, care of women in rural and disadvantaged areas and care of women affected by violence. The Australian healthcare system is far more developed than previous times, however policies could still be reconsidered in order to optimise the health of all Australian women.
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