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Minister Seeks Input On Women's Health Strategy

Women's Affairs Minister Laila Harré is asking New Zealanders to help the government develop the country's first Women's Health Strategy.

A discussion document on the proposal has been put together by the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The end result will be a strategy focusing on the health needs of women that complements the recently released New Zealand Health Strategy.

Laila Harré says the discussion document takes a broad view of women's health and takes into account the underlying social and cultural factors that influence health outcomes.

"This strategy will help the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards and other health agencies develop policies and services which are more responsive to the health needs of all New Zealand women.

"It takes a wider look at the factors that impact on women's health rather than focusing on the simple biological differences between men and women.

"For example, we know that women's reproductive role creates a very real need for specialist health services.

"What we don't know is how women's everyday lives impact on their health needs and outcomes, things like household income, housing, education, ethnicity and employment."

Laila Harre is urging individuals, community groups, health workers and as many women as possible to have their say on issues raised in the discussion document.

Submissions must reach the Ministry of Women's Affairs by April 27, and the document can be viewed or downloaded from http://www.womensaffairs.govt.nz.

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