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UK Has 12th Largest ‘Gender Health Gap’: Government Finally Asks for Women’s Experiences

Recent evidence reveals there needs to be a greater focus on women’s health in the UK. A study carried out by The World Health Organisation, showed the UK has the largest health gap in the G20.

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    Gender inequality in UK health system

    The term G20 is used to define the most advanced and emerging economies in the world. However, the UK has the 12th largest gender health gap in the group, compared to some countries outside of it.

    Though on average women in the UK have a longer life expectancy than men, statistics revealed by the Department for Health and Social Care show they are spending less of their life in good health.

    The biggest causes of death for women range from suicide, breast cancer, and dementia- all of which lead to various levels of interaction with the National Health Service (NHS). Other areas which are to be considered in the review include menopause, fertility, and maternity facilities.

    As part of a new strategy released on International Women’s Day, women and girls are being asked to share their experiences of the health system to address its inequalities.

    However, the UK has the 12th largest health gap in the group, compared to some countries outside of it

    The call for evidence will look at examining the experience of the health care system for women, and the areas of improvement which are needed to bring the system up to an equal level.

    The changes will even look into things as small as waiting times. Research carried out by the BMJ medical journal revealed that women are more likely to wait longer for certain cancer diagnoses than men.

    Research highlights that female patients are more likely to die in situations where CPR is required. The shocking irregularities of the health care system also reveal racial disparities, as black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth than other mothers.

    Lack of government data on women’s experiences

    A widening socio-economic gap between rich and poor could possibly be partly to blame, with obesity and physical inactivity coexisting with malnutrition. However, this doesn’t distinguish reasoning for such a large gap between genders.

    Up until the UK’s gender health gap was released by The World Health Organisation, the government hadn’t previously asked women about their experiences. Seemingly, it took the data of a global organisation to push the government into understanding and respecting women’s health.

    On average women in the UK have a longer life expectancy than men, however they are spending less of their life in good health

    Women’s voices are key

    Women of all ages and backgrounds are being encouraged to respond in order to capture the varying health issues women experience throughout their lives.

    Speaking of all backgrounds, there is no information to suggest women from migrant backgrounds, who have limited access to state health care due to no recourse to public funds, will be included in the discussion. Migrant women are often excluded from health systems purely on the basis of their immigration status, yet the issues highlighted in the gender gap would directly impact them.

    The minister for women’s health, Nadine Dorries, says that women’s voices are essential for closing the so-called health gap by providing key information to fix the ‘broken’ system. She said: “Women’s experiences of healthcare can vary, and we want to ensure women are able to access the treatment and services they need.

    “It’s crucial women’s voices are at the front and center of this strategy so we can understand their experiences and how to improve their outcomes.”

    The scheme also aims to capture the differences in patient experiences.

    Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth than other mothers

    Although the majority of people may have a welcoming healthcare experience, this isn’t the case for everyone. Over 15% of trans women have been subjected to inappropriate behaviour when accessing care, this negative event can have a major effect on people wanting to go back to the doctor.

    The call for evidence began at the start of this week and has been amplified throughout the media.

    For assistance with UK 12th Largest ‘Gender Health Gap’, get in touch with us today. Contact Us

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