NHS ‘gender health gap’ that leaves women struggling to get good healthcare is branded medical misogyny
- Doctors fail to treat men and women equally, says charity Engage Britain
- It adds that they are too often dismissive of the latter’s health problems
- The charity is calling for urgent reforms so that women are taken more seriously
- A survey found 26% of women compared to 17% of men failed to get support
Women face a greater struggle to get quality healthcare on the NHS because of a culture of ‘medical misogyny’, a charity claimed yesterday.
Doctors fail to treat men and women equally and are too often dismissive of the latter’s health problems, Engage Britain says.
The charity, which promotes public involvement in policy-making, is calling for urgent reforms so that women are taken more seriously.
A survey it commissioned found that 26 per cent of women had failed to get the support they needed when seeking treatment over the past five years. But for men the figure was 17 per cent.
And whereas 29 per cent of women had to chase up a referral, the figure for men was again lower, at 20 per cent.
A survey the charity commissioned found that 26 per cent of women had failed to get the support they needed when seeking treatment over the past five years. But for men the figure was 17 per cent
Women were also more likely to feel ‘low, stressed or anxious’ when facing lengthy waits for an appointment, the poll of 3,027 adults revealed.
Miriam Levin, health and care programme director at Engage Britain, said: ‘In 2022 women should not be struggling more than men to get the right help from health professionals.
‘While women across the country tell us how grateful they are for the NHS, in the same breath they will say they feel low and anxious because they cannot get the support they need.
‘From needing support in a crisis to dealing with problems like endometriosis, we hear stories of women suffering with the uncertainty of waiting times and referrals – and sometimes even feeling dismissed or not taken seriously by professionals.
‘People understand hard working NHS staff are doing their best, but it’s important female patients do not feel they are up against medical misogyny. We need a completely new approach to helping the NHS recover from the pandemic.’
Doctors fail to treat men and women equally and are too often dismissive of the latter’s health problems, Engage Britain says
Sexism has previously been blamed for a disproportionate rise in gynaecology waiting lists and failings around the prescribing of hormone replacement therapy.
The poll found that 25 per cent of women were anxious they would not receive the NHS care they needed in an emergency, compared with 17 per cent of men.
Dame Lesley Regan, a former president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, was last month appointed as the first women’s health ambassador for England in a bid to improve equality.
She will support the implementation of the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy, which is intended to tackle the ‘gender health gap’ and ensure services meet the needs of women throughout their lives.