Cefin Campbell MS has questioned the Health Minister Eluned Morgan over provision for women suffering from endometriosis.
At the Plenary of March 8th Cefin Campbell MS asked “How is the Welsh Government supporting women with endometriosis in Mid and West Wales?”
Eluned Morgan responded “I am committed to the priorities set out in the women and girls health quality statement, for which NHS Wales is developing a 10-year women’s health plan. This includes the expectation that all health boards will ensure equitable and timely access to appropriate treatment and support for endometriosis.”
Cefin Campbell pointed out that it was International Women’s Day, and Endometriosis Awareness Month. He said: ” As you will have heard me say in the past in this Chamber, I receive a great deal of correspondence from women in west Wales that demonstrates that the provision for women suffering endometriosis is nowhere near good enough.
“In terms of the women and girls health plan, across the 29 conditions where gender inequalities exist, including endometriosis, you’ve mentioned that NHS Wales will be developing this women and girls health plan, but I am a little surprised, given that women’s health exists in a far broader context than simply health alone—it relates to poverty, it relates to diet, housing, and so on and so forth—so I’m surprised that it’s not you as a Government that’s leading on this, as is the case in both Scotland and in England. So can you confirm to us that this women’s health plan will tackle issues in terms of closing gender inequality gaps so that women in Wales get far better support in future?”
The Health Minister replied “Thank you very much. I hope that the Chamber has understood how committed I am to this cause. I also want to note that it’s International Women’s Day, and I want to take this opportunity particularly to thank all the women who work in the NHS and in our care service. They are a large majority in terms of the numbers working in those services, and so I do want to take that opportunity on this very special day to thank them.
“As you say, we have the equality statement on women, which has shown exactly where we want to go and what our expectations are, but in terms of ownership, it’s very important that the NHS has ownership of this, so that they feel the responsibility to ensure that they do deliver on it. So, I have ensured that they have ownership of it. We do understand that, when it comes to health, you have to look at all kinds of things, such as housing and poverty, but I think it is important to ensure that, within the NHS, we place the focus in a place where it hasn’t been in the past, perhaps, ensuring, for example, that, when it comes to studies, we do look at how such and such a drug does affect a woman, and how people are treated when they visit a GP. It’s evident and a lot of evidence shows that women and men are treated slightly differently. So, I want to ensure that they have ownership of this, because there is a greater chance that things will change if they have ownership of it and they develop it rather than I commission it.”