11 December 2018

Labour wants to see the budget on Wednesday establish a dedicated Women’s Health Fund to further research, advice and services for women specific conditions.

Labour said that the issue of women’s health has long been overlooked and under-researched.

There is a lack of understanding about many conditions that affect only women, and too little is known about how conditions such as heart disease impact on women.

Labour said a dedicated women’s health fund could invest in:

• Research into women specific conditions such as endometriosis.

• Increasing the availability of advice and treatment by, for example, offering training to GPs on women only conditions, commissioning more cervical screening at sexual health clinics and ensuring Scotland’s NHS can offer the specialist treatment that women need, e.g. Lipoedema specialists.

• Developing new women-specific interventions and technologies.

Conditions such as endometriosis and lipoedema each affect up to 1 in 10 women, but the journey to diagnosis is long and difficult.

Women often report having their symptoms disregarded by the medical profession and wider society; it is becoming increasing apparent to women’s organisations that these experiences are endemic.

Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Monica Lennon said:

"Experiences that will affect most women, from menstruation to the menopause, lack basic provisions.

“Women do not currently have access to sanitary products on a universal basis, and there is little support available for women experiencing the menopause.

“Women make up more than half of our population and Scottish Labour believes that it is time that the government invest resources in their healthcare. A women’s health fund demonstrates a strong commitment to redressing the imbalance and will improve our health service in the long run.”

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