NO BABY BOOM: A women’s health group has lost its funding in the cutbacks.
NO BABY BOOM: A women’s health group has lost its funding in the cutbacks. CONTRIBUTED

Newman bumps women's health funding

QUEENSLAND Health will wind down some of Family Planning Queensland's funding tied to women's reproductive health, in a move the organisation warns will hamper preventative health measures.

A list issued by Queensland Health on Friday afternoon shows the department also will slow grant funding to other groups that run "healthy lifestyle" programs in various parts of the state, along with sponsorship of a mental health advocacy body.

They are among 24 projects that will be provided with an additional three months of funding from today but will be expected to wind up reliance on grant funding after that.

On this list is a grant to Family Planning Queensland with the description "women's reproductive health services".

A spokesman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said this did not mean all of Family Planning Queensland's funding was being withdrawn; just a specific grant.

He would not say the dollar amount of funding involved but said the majority of funding to the organisation remained in place.

However Family Planning Queensland's director of education and community services Cecelia Gore said the body received about $460,000 a year for the women's reproductive health services.

This funding will stop in three months.

Ms Gore said the program had been running since the 1990s and the organisation had had a meeting with Queensland Health about two months ago at which FPQ was led to believe the funding would be

extended to June 2014.

"We're completely stunned that that has appeared on this list (of funding being wound down) at all," she said.

Ms Gore said the program was focused on preventative health for women in rural areas, women with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Other items on the list of 24 projects to end reliance on grant funding in three months include a sponsorship contribution for Queensland Voice for Mental Health, a group that speaks up for people with mental health issues and their carers and disseminates information.

Queensland Health also will remove funding supporting a central west health promotion worker with Australian Red Cross Society, and will stop funding numerous "healthy lifestyle" program co-ordinators in rural divisions of general practice organisations.

Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, based on the Sunshine Coast, is also set to lose funding for a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender alcohol, tobacco and other drug project.

Many indigenous health organisations appear on a separate list of 59 projects that will have three months of extra funding, before a more detailed review to determine their future funding.

It is understood Mr Springborg is keen to reduce duplication and encourage greater co-ordination among the various indigenous health groups.

In a statement, Mr Springborg said 303 grants were scheduled to expire yesterday, including many providing services to reduce public demand on Queensland hospitals or support frontline services.

Of those, 119 were renewed at existing funding levels. Letters of notification to those organisations were being distributed, Mr Springborg said.

"As part of the process, allocations were divided between 202 groups given an expectation of further funding and 101 in receipt of limited one-off grants," he said.

Mr Springborg said that in the latter category, responsibility for 34 grants had been transferred away from Health as part of portfolio changes, but all 67 one-off grants that remained within Queensland Health expired yesterday.

He said some groups expecting renewals would have their allocations cut.

"Of these, 59 would be given three months' pro-rata funding while a further review of their financial support arrangements was carried out," he said.

"This included a number of programs serving indigenous communities, where a more co-ordinated approach to service delivery would be sought."



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