Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — My question is for the minister representing the Minister for Health, Minister Mikakos. Publicly funded abortion services are deteriorating across the state, causing women to travel long distances for private care that costs hundreds of dollars. Leading women’s health researchers are urging the government to make abortion services mandatory at some regional hospitals in response to concerns about reduced access to surgical abortion raised by doctors, nurses and clinic managers. How is the government addressing this issue, which is placing women’s health and wellbeing at risk?
Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — Thank you, Minister, for that response, and I look forward to a further response from the Minister for Health. RU486 is available in many countries and plays an important role in women’s health internationally. It is widely used in China, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the UK, Vietnam and most European countries, but Australia is being viewed as lagging behind in this area. In responding to this deterioration of available services, will the minister’s strategy include an expansion of training and support for GPs to administer RU486 to Victorian women?