William Eichler 23 December 2021

Government sets out plans to tackle gender health gap

Government sets out plans to tackle gender health gap  image

The Government has announced that it will ban hymenoplasty and appoint a Women’s Health Ambassador as part of the effort to close the gender health gap.

After analysing almost 100,000 responses to a call for evidence, the Government has published the report, Vision for Women’s Health, which sets out key commitments on women’s health.

The report says the Government aims to ensure all women feel comfortable talking about their health and that women can access services that meet their needs across the life course.

According to the responses to the call for evidence, damaging taboos and stigmas in women’s health can prevent women from seeking help and reinforce beliefs that debilitating symptoms are ‘normal’.

Over eight in 10 of the women who responded said they have felt they were not listened to by healthcare professionals, and nearly two in three respondents with a health condition or disability said they do not feel supported by the services available for individuals with their condition or disability.

It also sets out the aim to ensure that all women will have access to high quality information and education from childhood through to adulthood.

The report also aims to embed the routine collection of demographic data of participants in research trials to make sure that research reflects society.

Minister for women’s health Maria Caulfield said: ‘The responses from the call for evidence were in many ways as expected, particularly with regards to women’s priorities, but in some places the revelations were shocking.

‘It is not right that over three quarters of women feel the healthcare service has not listened. This must be addressed.

‘Many of the issues raised require long-term system wide changes, but we must start somewhere. I am proud to publish our vision for women’s health. It is the first step to realising our ambition of a healthcare system which supports women’s needs throughout their lives.’

Details on the action the Government will take to fulfil the ambitions in Vision for Women’s Health will be followed by the Women’s Health Strategy in Spring 2022.

The vision document also sets out plans to introduce legislation to ban hymenoplasty – a procedure undertaken to reconstruct a hymen – at the earliest opportunity.

Professor Geeta Nargund, co-founder of the Ginsburg Women’s Health Board, senior NHS consultant and medical director at CREATE Fertility, said: ‘The results of this consultation show unequivocally that our healthcare system needs more support for women’s reproductive health and that across every age group women face hurdles in accessing the medical care or information they need. It reconfirms why this consultation was so important and now that we have the results we must work to address the issues raised and develop policies that will close the gender health gap.

‘When it comes to gynaecological conditions there is a very clear need to accelerate referrals for early diagnosis with a fast-track to consultants, and there must be a focus on health conditions affecting BAME women who have historically struggled to access support.

‘Fertility issues continue to affect a growing number of women, and to ensure all those who need can access treatment we urgently need to end the NHS IVF postcode lottery and extend funding to same-sex and single women across the UK. The results of this consultation are only the beginning, and we must work together to support our NHS and healthcare system deliver the best service possible for all women.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Team Leader - Nexus Support - Hockley

Essex County Council
£21258 - £23437 per annum
Team Leader - Nexus Support - HockleyPermanent, Full Time £21,258 to £23,437 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Support Worker - Nexus Support - Wickford

Essex County Council
£10 - £12.50 per hour
Essex County Council (ECC) are delighted to be supporting Nexus Support to recruit Support Workers on both permanent and bank contracts for their s England, Essex, Wickford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Support Worker - Nexus Support - Rochford

Essex County Council
£10 - £12.50 per hour
Essex County Council (ECC) are delighted to be supporting Nexus Support to recruit Support Workers on both permanent and bank contracts for their su England, Essex, Rochford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director - Investment Strategy

West Midlands Pension Fund
£101,074 - £121,753
This is a rare opportunity to join one of the largest and most progressive pension funds in the UK at an exciting time in its development. Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Pension Fund

Registered Manager - Children's Residential Home

Cumbria County Council
44,624 – 45,648
An exciting opportunity has arisen for the right person to join our Children’s Residential Home in Penrith as Registered Manager. Penrith, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.