One-off Funding Welcome
Family Planning has welcomed the one-off funding support announced today which will be directed to initiatives to reduce waiting times for clients.
"We are very grateful for the $427,000 announced today by Minister Genter," Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says. "The additional funding will allow us to employ additional people in our contact centre and increase nursing hours so we can offer more appointments.
"We were already under pressure prior to Covid but the lockdown put even more demand on our services. While we offered as many services as we could over the phone during lockdown and came back into our clinics as soon as we could, we had our own "curve" of clients needing appointments and it’s this curve that has put us under extreme pressure."
Ms Edmond says though welcome, today’s money will provide only temporary relief to our funding issues
"What we need is a fundamental shift to the way we’re funded which acknowledges that we’re an essential service under extreme funding pressure. The Minister’s own media release notes that this is the biggest funding increase we’ve had in more than 10 years. We have been saying for some time that without a substantive and sustainable increase in our contract funding - we’re simply not going to be able to continue to provide the services we do."
Ms Edmond says Family Planning is trying to navigate growing demand, increased costs, and more complex client consultations on a budget effectively the same as it was in 2008.
"We are grateful to the Minister for the support announced today - we will however, continue to make the case for contract funding which fully recognises and recompenses the work we do," Ms Edmond says.