— Key Policies —

International Women’s Day: Ginsburg Women’s Health Board announce key campaign policies in fight to eliminate UK gender health gap

To mark International Women’s Day, the Ginsburg Women’s Health Board announced the three key campaign policies they are calling for the Government to consider, that would deliver a more equal and effective healthcare system for women.

Their manifesto centres on three key pillars: analysis of data, prevention and protection and improved public education to enable women to know their bodies better.

Since their launch, the board have been exploring some of the most pressing healthcare issues facing women in the UK today, are recommending/calling upon the Government to support the following three initial policies:

1. Fast-track women’s gynaecological referrals
Currently, unless women’s gynaecological issues are classified as suspected cancer, the referral window for secondary treatment can be up to 18 weeks, resulting in more serious conditions being missed or diagnosed too late. Women’s health issues are also often side-lined or overlooked; research has shown that women wait an average of 7.5 years between first seeing a doctor about their symptoms and receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis. The board are calling for the government to reduce the referral time from primary to secondary care to a maximum of 3-4 weeks, and to review the current symptoms list as well as the duration symptoms are expected to be endured before being escalated.

2. End the UK’s IVF postcode lottery
Despite the fact 1 in 6 couples now encounter problems with their fertility, currently in England only 12% of CCGs offer the 3 cycles of IVF as recommended by NICE for women under 40, down from 24% in 2013, with some offering none whatsoever. Thousands are denied funding for IVF due to where they live. The board are suggesting the creation of a centralised system that ensures women have equal opportunity to access IVF treatment, no matter where they live and to mandate that CCGs adopt a National Tariff to cap the price they pay per IVF cycle treatment. This will enable the NHS to treat more women within the existing budget.

3. Introduce fertility education to the secondary school curriculum
One of the key influencing factors for the growth in reliance on IVF is a fundamental lack of awareness as to the range of factors that can impact reproductive health. The board are therefore calling for the government to include fertility education within the secondary school curriculum, to empower young people with the knowledge required to make positive lifestyle choices that protect their fertility and prevent avoidable infertility issues.

Commenting on the initiatives Mika Simmons said:
“These three initial policies have been chosen to tackle some of the more critical issues affecting women’s health in the UK today. I have personally witnessed the devastating consequences of delayed healthcare referrals and want to do all that I can to ensure others don’t suffer the same. We look forward to working with the government to support their commitment to ensuring women’s voices are heard and change delivered.”

Nimco Ali commented:
“The Department of Health has already expressed support for our policy goals and the challenge now is to harness that and use our collective power to deliver policies and initiatives that will protect the health and welfare of women.”

Professor Dr Geeta Nargund added:
“As a group, we want to support the NHS and our healthcare system to deliver the best it possibly can for women across the UK, utilising their valuable time and resources in the most cost- effective and efficient way. We want to make the UK a world leader in women’s health and we look forward to working closely with the Government to enact positive and lasting change for all women.”