More than $18 million boost for endometriosis

Published Thursday, 29 February, 2024 at 10:27 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • Queensland has higher prevalence of endometriosis than the national average
  • The funding aims to break downbarriers faced by women when receiving a diagnosis and timely care
  • This includes improved access to clinical, surgical and rehabilitation services, peer support groups and scholarships for nurses and physiotherapists to better understand and treat pelvic pain.
  • This investment is part of the Queensland Women and Girls’ Health Strategy 2032.

Women have shared their experiences with us and we are listening and implementing change.

Queensland has one of the highest rates of endometriosis, with around one in six (17%) women diagnosed with endometriosis by the time they are in their early 40, this is compared to just over one in 10 (11%) women Australia wide.

The Miles Labor Government will invest $18.2 million to improve how these women are supported and how they can access treatment in a timely manner.

This investment is part of the soon to be released Queensland Women and Girls’ Health Strategy 2032. Almost 12,000 women and girls shared their experiences during consultation for the Strategy.

Worryingly, the results found one in three women felt dismissed by healthcare professionals, which commonly leads to misdiagnosis. Women are waiting longer than clinically recommended for a pelvic pain diagnosis with the average time to receive an endometriosis diagnosis being seven years.

Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial-like tissue is present outside the uterus and is associated with pelvic pain, infertility, and poor mental health.

This new funding is essential to identify, diagnose and provide better quality care for women suffering with symptoms of endometriosis faster.

This will improve access to advanced clinical, surgical and rehabilitation services for persistent pelvic pain, including care for endometriosis, and will be backed by statewide pelvic health clinical guidelines.

The investment will also establish peer support group programs to provide invaluable connection and support for women who have experienced the same health issues.

To ensure there are the skilled healthcare workers needed to provide specialist care, more than $1 million will go towards scholarships for nurse training in pelvic pain management through the Australian College of Nursing and scholarships for physiotherapists to undertake pelvic health qualifications.

With increasing prevalence of pelvic pain and associated conditions, the $18.2 million package will create greater awareness and knowledge within the health workforce and better prepare them to provide supportive care to women and girls seeking their help.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman:

 “Women and girls have recounted numerous stories of being dismissed and misdiagnosed in our health system, leading to living in persistent pain for years. 

“We want women and girls who develop pelvic pain or painful periods to feel comfortable discussing this with their doctor, and to know that they are being listened to and understood.

“Thank you to the thousands of Queensland women and girls who came forward and shared their experiences with the health care system.

“We hear you, and we are taking action.

“I’m so proud of the Miles Government’s commitment to reform how our health system responds to deliver meaningful outcomes for so many Queensland women and girls.”

Jessica Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, QENDO

“My endometriosis journey began like so many others, debilitating pain that I couldn’t explain, trips to emergency that yielded no answers, GPs who didn’t listen, eleven of them in fact.

“My hope is this investment will help women walk the path that is the diagnosis, treatment and management of endometriosis and pelvic pain.

Professor Gita Mishra, University of Queensland:

“It was a pleasure to lead the team at the Australian Women and Girls’ Health Research (AWaGHR) Centre at the University of Queensland to produce an evidence review to inform and support the development of the Queensland Women’s Health Strategy.

“What we know is the prevalence of endometriosis is higher among young women than the previous generation and higher in Queensland than Australia overall.

“Increasing awareness and pathways for diagnosis, treatment and management of endometriosis and pelvic pain will support women and girls to live healthier lives.


Radio grabs are available here