Labor to boost funding for

Coast’s women’s health centres

Central Coast Labor MPs joined Shadow Minister for Women and Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jodie Harrison MP, to announce that a Minns Labor Government will boost funding for Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre.

(L-R) - Back row: Liesl Tesch, Theresa Mason, David Harris and Sam Boughton. Front row: Jodie Harrison, Yasmin Catley and David Mehan.

3 February 2023


UNDER Labor’s plan, the current funding for Women’s Health Centres NSW will be doubled, with a $100 million investment over five years.


For almost half a century, Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre (CCCWHC) has provided a range of health, counselling and crisis support services for women across the Coast.


The Central Coast Women’s Health Centre, which has established sites in Woy Woy, Wyong and Wyoming, would see Labor’s commitment funding enable them, over the next five years, to respond more effectively to the needs of women using its services.


Jodie Harrison MP, Shadow Minister for Women, said “Women’s Health Centres are a welcoming, holistic and trusted regular health provider for tens of thousands of women every year.


“These Centres not only provide clinicians to support women with their physical and mental health, the Centres provide preventative classes, events and support groups which are so important for women who would otherwise put off looking after their own health needs.”


Theresa Mason, Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre CEO, said “Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre, treats 1,500 women each year, providing over 7,500 occasions of services. We provide services, referral information and advocacy support to over 4,000 women per year.


“Our sector has now reached a crisis point. Centres are running unsustainable operating deficits, and are being forced to make skilled mental health, clinical and health education staff redundant and reduce our services.


“Unfortunately for a number of years we have been operating at a deficit. We were in a position for a while and several grants during Covid masked the reduction in service that we were forced to make.


“This funding will help us sustain our current activities and support us to provide our level of service.”


The Central Coast ranked second in the highest number of incidents of domestic violence across NSW in the last reporting period (Oct 21 – Sept 22) according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR).


In the same period, BOSCAR revealed that the Central Coast LGA ranked second for breaches of Apprehended Violence Orders, and first for incidents of sexual assault across the State.


Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre supports thousands of local women every year and is vital in providing a safe place for women who may fall through the cracks of the health system and otherwise end up straight into acute care.


Up to 80 per cent of women who attend NSW Women’s Health Centres have experienced domestic or family violence.


David Harris, Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, said "Wyong Women's Health Centre plays a pivotal role in supporting women through a range of situations. I have been a strong supporter of their programs and welcome this funding commitment to assist in supporting important services into the future."


Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley said “This is critical funding that helps secure the future of Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centres that will benefit women right across the Central Coast.


“The CCCWHC provide vital support for women in some of the most vulnerable periods of their lives. They are a crucial community asset and I am proud to be part of Labor team committing to deliver this centres funding certainty.”


Labor’s commitment will ensure CCCWHC can keep its doors open and continue to provide specialised health care services for thousands of women across the Central Coast each year.


It will also reduce pressure on our hospitals as women can access healthcare where they need it, when they need it, without having to go to an Emergency Department. Every dollar invested in Women’s Health Centres avoids $1.71 in hospital and primary health costs.


David Mehan, Member for The Entrance, said “Funding for Central Coast Women’s Health Centres would double under Labor’s proposal.  This funding will ensure that women across the coast will have access to key health care services that can relieve the pressure on our local hospitals.”


Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch said “Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centres do an amazing job to support women across the Coast, many of whom are at the most vulnerable period of their lives when they seek assistance.


“CCCWHC have a fabulous wrap-around service that save lives and supports so many women in our community. This funding will ensure this valuable service has long-term financial viability and a future stake on the Central Coast.”


Central Coast Community Women’s Health Centre provides a safe and private setting for women to access vital physical and mental health services, as well as domestic, family and sexual violence support.


Under Labor, the new investment will mean CCCWHC is able to:


  • Increase staff retention,


  • Reduce waitlists for counselling appointments,


  • Reduce numbers of women turned away from services,


  • Reduce gaps in availability of local services,


  • Adapt services to emerging demographic trends and population growth,


  • Adapt services to address the complexity of presenting health issues.


Sam Boughton, Labor Candidate for Terrigal, said “The funding we announce will mean more women in our community will get access to the healthcare they need, when they need it.


“Thank you for calling fantastic work done by the staff and volunteers at Central Coast Women’s Health Centres across the Coast.”


This week’s announcement follows Labor’s commitment to deliver more job security and funding certainty for key community health and family and domestic violence services by introducing longer-term five-year funding arrangements, and to boost funding to the NSW Sexual Violence Helpline.

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