Affordable choices crucial to reproductive health

Family Planning NSW has welcomed the upcoming Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing of Kyleena, the first long-acting, reversible contraceptive to receive a government subsidy in 15 years.

Family Planning NSW Medical Director Dr Deborah Bateson said it was wonderful to see a new contraceptive choice due to be subsidised and available for Australian women. It is widely known that Australians are well behind other nations in adoption of these highly effective contraceptive options1.

"We know these longer-term contraceptive options are highly effective at preventing unplanned pregnancies and in the longer term are very affordable2. Having a new contraceptive choice with a Government subsidy, available to women, is a real win for people looking to take control of their fertility," Dr Bateson said.

"We know, having a range of contraceptive options available is crucial for reducing unplanned pregnancies but also achieving high quality reproductive and sexual health services.

"This an important new option which increases the contraceptive choices available to women. We know different types of contraceptives will suit different people at different stages of their reproductive life so a wide choice of methods, and increased affordability through government subsidy is precisely what is needed."

Reviewing training opportunities among health workers on insertion methods for IUDs and other longer-term contraceptives is another important area to explore, Dr Bateson said.

"We need to see more doctors being trained on the insertion of these types of devices and we need to seriously look at the upskilling of nurses and midwives to increase access to these very effective contraceptive choices," Dr Bateson said.

"Upskilling nurses and midwives to insert these longer-term contraceptives has proven to be effective with very positive patient outcomes3. However, we know it is difficult for nurses to provide this service as there is no way for them to be remunerated under the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Increasing the accessibility of long-acting reversible contraceptives through nurse-led insertions: A cost-benefit analysis outlines how using nurses to help women access longer-term contraception could save millions of dollars while also improving contraceptive care and access for women.

Media enquiries: M: 0402 880 653

1 Concepcion, K., Lacey, S., McGeechan, K., Estoesta, J., Bateson, D., & Botfield, J. (2019). Cost–benefit analysis of enhancing the uptake of long-acting reversible contraception in Australia. Australian Health Review. doi: 10.1071/AH18190 2 ibid 3 Botfield, J. R., Lacey, S., Fleming, K., McGeechan, K., & Bateson, D. (2019). Increasing the accessibility of long-acting reversible contraceptives through nurse-led insertions: A cost-benefit analysis. Collegian. doi: 10.1016/j.colegn.2019.05.001
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