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Thursday, 9 December 2004
Page: 128


Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, upon notice, on 17 November 2004:

With reference to funding for the National Women's Health Program:

Will the National Women's Health Program be excluded from the Public Health Outcomes Funding Agreement; if so, what alternative funding provision is being made for funding women's health services nationally and regionally, including the Women's Health Program in Tasmania.


Senator Patterson (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women's Issues) —The Minister for Health and Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Australian Government assists states and territories, through a funding contribution made under the bilateral Public Health Outcome Funding Agreements 2004-2009 (PHOFAs), to achieve health outcomes for a number of public health areas, including women's health programs. The Australian Government's offer to jurisdictions fully expends the forward estimates for PHOFA programs. Under these Agreements, states and territories will receive a pool of funds and are responsible for making service-level funding decisions in line with local needs and priorities.

The PHOFA agreements, which have been signed by seven states and territories, explicitly acknowledge the importance of women's health services and provide for jurisdictions to use Australian Government funds to implement the whole range of women's health services. The Tasmanian Minister for Health and Human Services signed the renewed agreement on this basis on 30 September 2004.

Under the PHOFAs, states and territories are required to report annually on a number of performance measures. These include a number of performance indicators specifically related to the delivery of women's health programs. The final set of performance indicators are currently with jurisdictions for final comments and will be available for public release once they are finalised.