Approximately one in 4 women in Australia have experienced an unintended pregnancy, with nearly one-third of these ending in an abortion.
Access to effective methods of contraception can contribute to the prevention of pregnancies, yet only around 11% of women are using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) in Australia. Many women experience considerable barriers when accessing contraception and abortion care.
Primary care providers play a vital role in the provision of contraception services and supporting pregnancy options. However, the number of providers delivering LARC and early medical abortion (EMA) services is still very low, particularly in rural and remote areas. This is due to a range of reasons, such as lack of training opportunities, appropriate remuneration, access to peer and expert support, and referral pathways. Without sufficient LARC and EMA providers, many women are required to seek this care outside their local area, which can pose significant financial and logistical challenges, potentially causing delays to appropriate care.
Led by Professor Danielle Mazza, Head of Monash University’s Department of General Practice, the Australian Contraception and Abortion Primary Care Practitioner Support (AusCAPPS) Network will address long-standing barriers to the implementation of LARC and EMA services in Australian primary care, a key priority area identified by the National Women’s Health Strategy.
“Long-acting reversible contraceptive methods, such as implants and intrauterine devices, are the most effective form of contraception. However, for many Australian women access is limited due to the low number of clinicians trained to provide these services.” Professor Mazza says.
“We hope to change this through the creation of an online community of practice that can support general practitioners, practice nurses and pharmacists in the delivery of these services.”
The AusCAPPS Network
In response to these issues, AusCAPPS Network was launched in July 2021 to support the Australian primary care workforce (including general practitioners, practice nurses and community pharmacists) in providing contraception and abortion care. AusCAPPS is a national, secure and free online space that provides:
- the opportunity to ask questions to peers and expert clinicians
- connection to a database of general practitioners, nurses and pharmacists who provide LARC and EMA services in primary care
- access to LARC and EMA training and education opportunities
- access to clinical resources and guidelines
- evidence-based research and updates related to LARC and EMA
- access to webinars and podcasts about LARC and EMA care.
The AusCAPPS Network has the support of many organisations working to improve women’s health in Australia, including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, as well as other family planning and industry organisations.
Professor Mazza says “AusCAPPS membership is growing every day, and we are excited to see so much collaboration and discussion between the primary care workforce, who are clearly committed to improving women’s reproductive health.”
To join the AusCAPPS Network, visit medcast.com.au/communities/auscapps
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This article was provided by AusCAPPS Network. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.