Much has been made in the media recently of the so-called ‘gender health gap’. Both medical professionals and members of the public believe that women’s health has long been neglected.
Taking note of this growing discontent, the government plans to launch a new ‘Women’s Health Strategy’. The aim is to equalise healthcare for men and women.
To help them ensure the strategy is as effective as possible, the Ministry of Health is calling for the public to put forward their views on women’s healthcare and how it can be improved.
Why the focus on women’s health?
One of the issues is a gap in the data. Pregnant women and women of childbearing age are often underrepresented in clinical trials, which means we know less about many female-specific conditions and how to treat them.
Many girls and women have had their symptoms dismissed as ‘women’s troubles’ and so have not received a diagnosis that could have resulted in life-changing treatment.
One glaring example of this is endometriosis, which has a staggering seven to eight-year average wait for diagnosis. That’s up to eight years of women living with often debilitating pain.
How can women help themselves?
Hopefully the new Women’s Health Strategy will make a big difference to the diagnosis and treatment of women’s health issues. And it is very clear that it is the health system that needs to change, not its users.
However, while we wait for the effects of the strategy to trickle down through the health system, there are some ways in which women can help themselves to get the treatment they need:
Listen to your body – if you feel like something isn’t quite right, have confidence in your convictions. We are often told it’s ‘normal’ to experience abdominal pain, heavy periods, spotting, etc. But if it’s not normal for you, it’s worth getting checked out.
Stand firm – don’t let the doctor fob you off. Insist on an examination and a referral to a gynaecologist if necessary.
Women’s health specialists
Here at Surescan, we specialise in women’s health, so if you feel like your GP is not taking your symptoms seriously, or you just want a bit of extra reassurance, you can rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned in trying to find the root cause of your problem.
So whether you’re concerned about abdominal pain, heavy periods, fertility issues or the menopause, at Surescan we are here to help. Women’s health is our number one priority.
For more information or to book an appointment, please contact us.