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Budget has $354m women’s health package

This week’s federal budget will include a $353.9 million health package for women spread over four years.

The package includes funding for cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health.

Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said the government was committed to improving health services around Australia for all women and girls, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down the 2021/22 budget on Tuesday.

Key measures include:

* $100.4 million for improvements to cervical and breast cancer screening programs

* $95.9 million for new tests on the MBS for pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos for specific genetic or chromosomal abnormalities prior to implantation and pregnancy.

* $47.4 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents

* $26.9 million to provide support for people with eating disorders and their families, noting that women account for almost two thirds of eating disorder diagnoses.

* $22 million for additional gynaecology items on the MBS, including items for Assisted Reproductive Technology and long-term reversible contraceptives.

* $21.6 million for women’s health initiatives, including Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia for the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk).

* $19.3 million for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing of Oripro (progesterone) to prevent women going into premature labour.

* $13.7 million for the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance to reduce pre-term birth rates.

* $6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.

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