This is the executive summary of the National Women’s Health Summit 2018 report, which can be found on the RANZCOG website.

ON 2 March 2018, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) hosted the first National Women’s Health Summit (NWHS).

The summit united Australia’s top 100 women’s health influencers – from health care, industry, non-government organisations, community groups and government – in a unique collaboration to discuss and address the most pressing health challenges Australian women face today.

I’d like to thank the keynote speakers – the Hon Greg Hunt MP, the Hon Catherine King MP, Professor Brenda Gannon, Patricia Turner, Professor Fran Baum, Senator Janet Rice, Carla Wilshire, Anne Trimmer and Carmel Tebbutt – and our Master of Ceremonies, Julia Medew.

Since the health of women is dependent on a number of factors, including the social and political environment in which they live, the summit took a social determinant approach to identify health gaps for the following complex and diverse groups:

  • migrant and refugee women;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women;
  • rural and remote women;
  • women with disability;
  • mental health and wellbeing; and
  • healthy ageing.

The full report is divided into six sections to reflect the streams outlined above. However, while addressing these at-need groups separately brings underserved populations into necessary focus, when devising and delivering programs, it is critical to maintain the whole-of-sector approach that is required to deliver needs-based interventions.

Each of the six sections reports the discussion outcomes from the specialist stream sessions held during the NWHS. It is important to note that neither the context for the discussion nor the priorities that were collaboratively identified by the streams were shaped or otherwise set by RANZCOG.

By summarising the unified thinking that emerged during the summit, it is RANZCOG’s hope that this document moves the conversation forward to shape future policies with regard to women’s health and, by extension, the health of Australia.

Professor Steve Robson is President of RANZCOG. He is also a Fellow of both the American and British Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

 

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