Member for Willoughby Tim James has announced that women living with severe symptoms of menopause will be able to access specialised care at an Australian-first menopause health hub at Royal North Shore Hospital.
Made possible thanks to the NSW Government’s $40 million 2022-23 Budget commitment over four years, the Northern Sydney Local Health District will expand the menopause service at the Royal North Shore Hospital in St Leonards into an enhanced hub.
The RNSH hub will be one of sixteen established across the state.
Mr James said the menopause hubs would provide much-needed support to women at a time of change in their lives.
“We know around one in five women experience severe or prolonged symptoms associated with menopause, but not enough are able to access targeted health support,” Mr James said.
“This can significantly affect not only a woman’s health, but also her financial security, as she is forced to spend or forgo income to better look after herself.”
“The hub is aimed at addressing this issue for women, as well as break down social stigmas around discussing and seeking treatment for menopause.”
“I welcome this commitment to improve vital health services for women in the Willoughby area.”
Treasurer Matt Kean said the services had been designed by clinical experts and women who had experienced severe symptoms of menopause, as part of a statewide taskforce.
“These networked hubs and services will be staffed by doctors, allied health professionals and nurses who will support women across NSW by providing the most up-to-date, specialised care,” Mr Kean said.
“For women who are experiencing severe symptoms or are going through menopause early, such as after cancer treatment, these services will provide much-needed support, advice and care during a very challenging time.”
Minister for Women and Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said about 50 per cent of women experience significant menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, headaches, brain fog, loss of word memory, body aches and pains and insomnia, while around one in five women suffer extreme symptoms.
“Many women suffer these symptoms in silence and do not seek the support and treatment they need. We want to break down the social stigma around talking about menopause and encourage women to share their experiences,” Mrs Taylor said.
“To start the conversation we have launched an awareness campaign and a Menopause Toolkit, which provide clear information about perimenopause and menopause, as well as information about accessing services in NSW.”
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said the network of menopause services across the state will also help women manage the longer term health risks associated with menopause, such as osteoporosis, heart disease and high blood pressure.
“This network of 16 menopause health services will support about 5,500 women each year as they face the daily challenges of living and working while enduring menopausal symptoms and associated health risks,” Mr Hazzard said.
“These services offer both in-person and virtual care to give women choice about how they receive care and manage their symptoms.”
All 16 networked menopause services are expected to be operational by late 2023.
Women can access the specialised menopause services through their general practitioner.