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QLD GOVERNMENT CUTBACKS WILL HURT PEOPLE IN THE BUSH MOST OF ALL

IF YOU read just some of the recent coverage of the Health Minister Lawrence Springborg’s funding cuts to Family Planning Queensland (FPQ), you will see lots of misinformation about what sexual and reproductive health services are all about.

FPQ – which has just lost $750,000 of its funding (15 per cent of its operating budget) – seems to be an easy target for a conservative government that does not understand what these services are, who accesses them and why they’re important.

Ironically, it was the Bjelke-Petersen government which had the vision and insight to recognise the importance of funding women’s reproductive health services, despite opposition in the party, adding state money to Commonwealth funding 30 years ago.

*The recent cuts will have a direct impact on services to rural and regional Queenslanders. These are people who struggle to access adequate services across the board, let alone healthcare and education services.

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For more than 40 years, FPQ has worked towards its vision of sexual and reproductive health for all.

This means a healthier Queensland, where people are resourced to access what they need, when they need it.

A treatment-oriented health system, focused on hospital services, cannot achieve the health outcomes Queenslanders expect, deserve and need.

FPQ builds the capacity of clinicians, teachers and other professionals to ensure government and non-government service providers have the skills and tools to deliver effective sexual and reproductive health care and education services.

FPQ supports parents with information about navigating puberty and discussing respectful relationships with their tweens and teens to reduce the incidence of sexual assault.

FPQ educates and advises people about safer sex and contraception in a modern world. FPQ assists people in planning families and promotes health and wellbeing into menopause and beyond.

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Despite tough economic times, FPQ has maintained its regional infrastructure of nine centres, believing local people are best placed to respond to local problems with local solutions.

FPQ improves health literacy so that young people and people with a disability are equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to make informed decisions to stay healthy and safe.

It is FPQ’s work in primary prevention and education services that reduces the squeeze on an already overburdened health system.

FPQ works to effect long-term cultural, legal and policy change.

This enables children and young people to get the support and services they need so they grow up with confidence and pride, equipped with information to stay healthy and safe from sexual abuse, understanding their rights and responsibilities, able to enjoy and take responsibility for their relationships, sexual choices and sexual health.

When the sexual and reproductive healthcare and information needs of women are looked after, the whole community benefits.

It is a sad day in Queensland when women and sexual and reproductive preventative health services that pay dividends long into the future can so easily be pushed aside.
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Janelle Weissman is director of communications and development, Family Planning Queensland.
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Editors note:-

With the easy access to internet information some info services provided by the governments can be downgraded or removed entirely as they could duplicate services like info banks can on those issues be easily supplied from anywhere there is an internet connection available
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July 5th, 2012
Topic: CHILDREN, FAMILY FRIENDS SOCIAL, GOVERNMENT Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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