First Ever Government-Led Women’s Health Strategy In England Aims To End Decades Of Inequality

Health Strategy

Women and girls across England will benefit from improved healthcare following the publication of the first-ever government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England

Ministers in England have vowed to tackle decades of “systemic” and “entrenched” gender health inequality in the country with plans to introduce compulsory women’s health training for doctors, more cancer checks and “one-stop shop” hubs across the NHS.

Moreover, the government has pledged in its first women’s health strategy to improve the access to contraception, IVF, maternity support and mental health services. Apart from that, baby-loss certificates will be offered to those losing a child before 24 weeks and a national fitness programme will encourage older women to build muscle strength and keep active.

Steve Barclay, the health secretary, said: “It is not right that 51% of our population are disadvantaged in accessing the care they need, simply because of their sex. The publication of this strategy is a landmark moment in addressing entrenched inequalities and improving the health and wellbeing of women across the country.”

Women live longer than men on average but spend about a quarter of their lives in poor health, compared with a fifth of men. The 127-page strategy says that “historically, the health and care system has been designed by men, for men.”

Originally due last year, then rescheduled for the spring, the government’s 10-year women’s health strategy will be published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on Wednesday. Another government health strategy – on health disparities – was due to be published this week but is likely to be delayed until after the summer.

Almost 100,000 women took part in the consultation. Maria Caulfield, the women’s health minister said, “Tackling the gender health gap will not be easy – there are deep-seated, systemic issues we must address to ensure women receive the same standards of care as men, universally and by default.”

Under the strategy, new research on women’s health issues will be commissioned to raise understanding of female-specific health conditions and “tackle the data gap” to ensure diagnoses and treatments work better for women. The women’s health section on the NHS website will be overhauled and expanded.

This strategy promises to expand women’s health hubs, which are so far up and running in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Hampshire, and Hackney in London, and enable women to access support, advice and treatment for a range of issues.

The government’s women’s health ambassador, Dame Lesley Regan, said the strategy is an opportunity to “reset the dial on women’s health” after decades of NHS services “failing” women.

Credits: The Guardian

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  • Staff Reporter