The gender health gap
It has recently been reported in the popular press that the Gender Health Gap is increasing and that little or no effort is being made by the Government to deal with this.
What is the Gender Health Gap?
Women make up more than half of the population (statistically 51%) and are reporting with far more frequency than other genders an inequality in the way they are treated by healthcare professionals. In March 2021 the Department of Health asked for evidence to assist with the newly set up Women’s Health Strategy for England. This led to some shocking evidence from women, charities and healthcare professionals that services for women were seen to be of lower priority than other services.
How has this happened?
Services have never been set up to help women properly or consistently. There is a definite postcode lottery – for example one GP may have a Menopause Specialist but four other neighbouring postcodes will not. This is the same for sexual health clinics and IVF services. Gradually and over the years this has become worse and worse until we find ourselves with a bone fide Gender Health Gap.
What can be done?
It is not at all clear what the Government intend to do with the stories and the statistics they have gathered and only time will tell whether services will improve for women. Until then the advice to women appears to be persist, persist and persist some more. If there is an issue, effectively, keep “going on about it” until someone listens. That clearly cannot be sustained an, quite obviously, continues to put womens health at significant risk.
At Youngs Law, we hear all the time about these issues. Gynaecological issues that are ignored leading to female cancers, poor ante-natal and post-natal care leading to birth management claims, breast lumps and rashes assumed to be cysts or a simple change in washing powder and leading to aggressive or inflammatory breast cancers , moles that are nothing more than a vanity issue leading to terminal illness– the list goes on.
We regularly bring claims for women who have been let down by healthcare services and succeed in securing hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages for them.
Head of Clinical Negligence, Melanie Lidstone-Land says:
“The Gender Health Gap is something most women in their lifetime will experience. It is really worrying when you approach a healthcare professional with genuine health concerns and you are “fobbed off”, told that it is “your age” or that “it will settle down in a month or two”. This is not acceptable and cannot continue. So many of my clients’ have had that experience and it has resulted in genuine illness and a claim for medical negligence.”
At Youngs Law we are highly experienced in managing claims involving Clinical Negligence. If you or a loved one think you may have suffered as a result of Medical negligence, contact our specialist team today to see how we can help.