The Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre has been selected as one of 20 Australian Government-funded sites to establish a specialised Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Clinic.
Healthy North Coast, the local not-for-profit organisation delivering the Australian Government’s Primary Health Network Program, is providing $700,000 over four years to GenHealth, which operates the Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre.
Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Monika Wheeler said the clinic would expand existing services available at the health centre, providing more people with access and options for primary health care.
‘This is great news for our Mid North Coast region. The new funding will go toward hiring specialised staff, including nurse practitioners and allied health professionals, as well as investing in equipment and fit-outs such as pelvic physiotherapy areas,’ said Ms Wheeler.
‘Endometriosis affects at least one in nine Australian women and can have a significant impact on their daily lives. Currently, women wait an average of seven years for diagnosis. Pelvic pain can be similarly complex and debilitating.
‘The new clinic will help reduce diagnostic delays and promote early access to information and care pathways for women with endometriosis and pelvic pain.
‘Healthy North Coast will be working closely with the Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre to plan the clinic operations and ensure it meets the needs of our community.’
Dr Shelley Rowe, Chief Executive of GenHealth, said the new clinic would fill a much-needed gap in the region.
‘It will provide a new avenue of care for girls and women diagnosed with endometriosis and pelvic pain,’ Dr Rowe said.
‘It means people experiencing these health concerns, and complications from these issues, will be able to be treated close to home, an important goal for healthcare and a priority for women and their families.
‘Many women already travel from regional towns and centres to access treatment in Coffs Harbour. Our GPs saw over 2,000 women last year; our allied health professionals saw over 500 women; and our nurses saw over 1,500, which indicates the demand there is here for specialist women’s services in this regional area.
‘The establishment of the new clinic will strengthen the capability of the entire local health workforce and provide improved options for referral,’ Dr Rowe said.
The exact timing for service commencement is still being planned. Further information will be available through the Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre Facebook page.