Medicare doesn’t adequately support access to high-quality care for menopause and perimenopause

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) says current Medicare subsidies don’t adequately support people experiencing menopause and perimenopause.

In a submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the issues related to menopause and perimenopause, the RACGP said longer appointments are essential for high-quality care.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said everyone experiencing menopause and perimenopause deserves access to high-quality care and support.

“Menopause is a normal stage of life, but too many women are missing out on the care they need,” she said.

“One of the barriers to quality menopause care is patients having enough time to spend with their GP – current Medicare subsidies don’t adequately support people who need longer appointments.

“This care is complex. Longer appointments are essential to provide a comprehensive assessment and discussion of treatment options. Menopausal symptoms can have numerous physical and mental health impacts, and preventive care and risk screening is also important.

“The cost of treatments for menopause is another big barrier which needs to be addressed. Many Menopausal Hormone Therapy products are not available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme making them too expensive for some patients, and Medicare subsidies for IUD insertion are still too low.

“There also needs to be more research into culturally appropriate best practice menopausal care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the LGBTQIA+ community, and culturally and linguistically diverse people.

“GPs could also be better supported to undertake refresher training in recent changes in menopause care. While more women are becoming GPs than men, and with this comes personal understanding of the issue, funding to support and encourage participation in training would be valuable for all GPs Australia-wide. This will help ensure high-quality, evidence-based care is accessible for everyone who needs it.”


/Public Release.