Australia’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world, with Medicare and the public hospital system helping to provide quality, safe and affordable healthcare across the country.

However, there remains a need to improve equality of access to healthcare services and provide additional support to those who need it, to ensure optimal health outcomes for all Australians.

In 2020, almost one in five women reported they could afford to see a health professional, with those who identify as LGBTIQ and women living with disabilities particularly disadvantaged.

This is according to the recently released results of the sixth Jean Hailes’ National Women’s Health Survey.

The annual survey works to identify key issues and trends in women’s health across Australia, helping to inform potential solutions and national health initiatives.

This year, the responses of more than 6,200 Australian women were analysed by a team of researchers, led by Professor Gita Mishra at the School of Public Health, University of Queensland.

The five main topics identified were health needs and health information, physical and mental health, reproductive and maternal health, intimate partner violence and the impact of COIVD-19 and bushfires.

Key findings of the survey included:

  • One in three respondents (33.6%) reported that their health was worse than before COVID-19.
  • One in three women reported symptoms of anxiety and one in four women reported symptoms of depression. Women living with a disability and those who identify as LGBTIQ were more likely to have both anxiety and depression.
  • Almost three out of five women who experienced miscarriage and/or stillbirth said they did not receive enough information and support to manage their loss.
  • Almost one in four women experienced some form of intimate partner violence. Women living with disabilities were more likely to experience controlling behaviour and physical violence, as were women who identified as LGBTIQ.

For more information and for women’s health resources head to:

If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, support is always available from Lifeline on 13 11 14. You can learn more about the mental health services available to you here, or book a long appointment with your GP to discuss what’s best for your situation.

Jean Hailes’ Women’s Health Survey 2020 Snapshot