NSW Government investment to boost Women’s Health Centres

07 March 2024

The NSW Government has reached a major milestone in delivering on its commitment to boost funding for Women’s Health Centres across NSW to ensure they are properly resourced to provide essential health and wellbeing services.

A funding increase of $34.3 million, announced in the 2023-24 State Budget has been allocated to 19 Women’s Health Centres across both metropolitan and regional NSW, including in Western Sydney, South Coast, North Coast and the Central West.

During the state election the NSW Government committed to boosting funding for Women’s Health Centres to $100 million over 5 years to support the essential community-based healthcare and domestic violence support they provide to women and children.

Today’s investment ensures that over the next 4 years $81 million in funding is secured for these vital services.

The Women’s Health Centre Program provides face-to-face support to an average of 50,000 women across NSW each year. Women from low-income and other priority backgrounds, including women who have experienced domestic violence, make up the majority of Women’s Health Centre clients.

Women’s Health Centres provide a range of services including tailored healthcare, supporting vulnerable women with their physical and mental health, sexual and reproductive health, as well as preventative classes, events and support groups.

These centres have been operational for more than 40 years and this funding injection will ensure they are able to remain sustainable into the future, and are able to:

  • increase staff numbers
  • reduce waitlists for counselling appointments
  • offer healthcare and counselling services to more women
  • adapt services to emerging demographic trends and population growth.

$369,500 of this funding has also been allocated to Women’s Health NSW, the peak body for Women’s Health Centres, to support capacity-building activities.

This funding will ensure more women are able to get the healthcare they need, when and where they need it.

This announcement is one element of the NSW Government’s commitment to investing in women’s healthcare and wellbeing. This has included the announcement earlier this week of a $18.6 million investment over 4 years for 29 new McGrath Breast Care Nurses who will provide free support to breast cancer patients in metro, region and remote communities.

Premier Chris Minns said:

“This is a vital investment to ensure women have access to key health services across our state.

“We are proud to be making this announcement and to continue working to ease the pressure on our hospital system, as well as boost healthcare services available to women in New South Wales.”

Minister for Health Ryan Park said:

“With this more than $34 million investment we can ensure more women across NSW have access to this incredibly important service.

“We’re committed to improving access to healthcare services for women and this significant funding enhancement will help these centres continue to provide important health-related care and support services across NSW.”

Minister for Women Jodie Harrison said:

“These centres are vital in providing a safe place for women who might otherwise fall through the cracks and are critical in removing barriers to health care by providing women the care they need in their own communities.

“Leichhardt Women’s Community Health centre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, as the first centre of its kind in Australia, opening in 1974, it has supported thousands of women in need providing access to health care, educational resources, and counselling.

“The investment in this centre and others is part of the NSW Government’s ambition to better support women all over our state and spans a range of areas, from health and other services for women to workforce participation.”

CEO Women’s Health NSW Denele Crozier said:

“The investment will see an immediate increase in essential health services for vulnerable and at risk women in need, provide sustainability to the sector and stability to the workforce.

“Women who come to our services need specialised care. The work we do and will continue to do will save lives.”

Confirmed total additional funding over 4 years for each centre will be:

  • $1,221,000 to Leichhardt Women’s Health Centre
  • $2,045,500 to Sydney Women’s Counselling Centre
  • $1,009,000 to Bankstown Women’s Health Centre
  • $1,617,500 to Fairfield Women’s Health Centre
  • $2,529,500 to Liverpool Women’s Health Centre
  • $1,491,000 to Cumberland Women’s Health Centre
  • $2,065,000 to Blacktown Women’s & Girls Health Centre Inc.
  • $2,619,000 to Blue Mountains Women’s Health and Resource Centre
  • $1,239,000 to Penrith Women’s Health Centre
  • $3,484,000 to Central Coast Women’s Health Centre
  • $1,417,000 to Central West Women’s Health Centre
  • $2,417,500 to Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre
  • $1,094,500 to Hunter Women’s Centre
  • $1,169,500 to Shoalhaven Women’s Health Centre
  • $2,745,500 to Illawarra Women’s Health Centre
  • $1,780,500 to Lismore Women’s Health Centre
  • $1,788,500 to Women’s Health Centre for Health and Wellbeing Albury Wodonga
  • $1,006,000 to Wagga Women’s Health Centre
  • $239,000 to Waminda Women’s Health Centre