All of this is absolutely necessary and given the accusations that have hit Parliament in recent months, the demand for greater Government support for women’s health and safety has never been more vocal. But even despite the investment, still more needs to be done. Nowhere is this more apparent than when looking at endometriosis, which will receive $5 million to support the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program, which educates students in SA and WA on period pain, pelvic pain and endometriosis when speaking at schools.
Education around endometriosis is a necessity, particularly at a school level. But still there is little being invested into the research and treatment of endometriosis in Australia. Given the nature of endometriosis, which affects every aspect of a sufferer’s life, it is expensive, time consuming and incredibly lonely for those having to live with what many describe as an invisible illness. From the specialist appointments with gynaecologists, physiotherapists, pain specialists and GPs, the cost can be too much for many to bear alone and the cost to Australia is estimated to be around $7.7 billion in healthcare, absenteeism, and lost social and economic participation.
It’s hardly surprising then, that following the government’s Federal Budget announcement, many women suffering from endometriosis are wanting more. We can’t stop at education, we must invest in research. Given that endometriosis is still largely considered a taboo subject, it’s time we prioritise the health of women and tell their stories and their pain. For too long, sufferers have had to combat endometriosis alone. Now it’s time for the government to step up and for greater action to be taken.