Canada: Women say B.C.’s health care system doesn’t meet their needs, overlooks concerns: report - - PressFrom - Canada

Canada Women say B.C.’s health care system doesn’t meet their needs, overlooks concerns: report

10:51  10 october  2019
10:51  10 october  2019 Source:

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Health care providers may have implicit biases that affect the way women are heard, understood and treated, she said . Research shows that both doctors and nurses prescribe less pain medication to women than men after surgery, even though women report more frequent and severe pain levels.

Report released Wednesday finds B . C .' s health care system is failing women and that many feel 31 per cent of women surveyed feel their needs aren' t being met by B . C . health care system Just over half interviewed by the B . C . Women ’ s Health Foundation say they feel a physician had

a person lying on a table© Getty Images

Many women throughout B.C. feel they're being let down by the province's health care system, according to a sobering new report.

Titled "In Her Words," the report released Wednesday by the B.C. Women's Health Foundation and Pacific Blue Cross found nearly one in three women surveyed do not feel their health care needs are being met or treated effectively.

Worse, more than half of respondents felt a physician had overlooked or diminished their symptoms — in most cases treating the issue as psychological rather than physical.

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The issue of women being overlooked doesn ’ t just stop there though: Older women and trans women are also experiencing their Why should your health care professional be any different? This also goes for your mental health , too. “Trans women may choose to ask questions about the process of

The traditional medical system disadvantages women , who, unlike men, are socialised to question themselves Health charities the King’ s Fund, the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation, along with the Royal For Buckley, gender bias in healthcare is an epidemic that needs to be addressed

According to the report, one in 11 women surveyed believed their symptoms were overlooked because of their gender alone.

The issue was found to be more common for women under the age of 45, at 54 per cent.

The same age group also reported an overall lower opinion of their emotional health compared to women over 45. One-third of younger women gave a rating of "fair" or "poor."

Lindsay McCray, a 37-year-old mother of two, says she used to suffer extreme pain from endometriosis — a condition where the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside instead, irritating surround tissue.

For 20 years, McCray sought help dozens of times. Each visit resulted in a similar diagnosis.

"I would tell my story and be told [by a physician], 'You just have it rough, you have a bad period, nothing you can do but take Ibuprofen.'"

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The new health and care system becomes fully operational from 1 April to deliver the ambitions set out in the Health and Social Care Act. NHS England, Public Health England, the NHS Trust Development Authority and Health Education England will take on their full range of responsibilities.

Women have many unique health concerns — menstrual cycles, pregnancy, birth control, menopause — and that' s just the beginning. We tend to think of breast cancer and osteoporosis as women ' s health diseases, but they also occur in men. Receive special offers on health books and reports .

It wasn't until McCray had a hysterectomy that the symptoms finally ceased.

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Older women, meanwhile, reported a higher number of chronic health conditions at 54 per cent. That number jumps to 64 per cent for women over 65.

For Indigenous women, the numbers are even more staggering: nearly three-quarters of those surveyed found their needs weren't being met. More than 80 per cent had trouble accessing care entirely, compared to just 30 per cent of women overall.

Many Indigenous respondents said physicians often made assumptions about their life experiences that informed diagnoses, including labeling patients as alcoholics.

The report was based on responses from 1,000 women aged 16 and over surveyed by the Mustel Group.

Dr. Lori Brotto with the Women's Health Research Institute says the report is proof that women's health has not been taken as seriously as men's for decades — and that a shift in understanding is needed.

"I think there has been this lasting belief that women are like mini-men," she said. "That's not the case."

Brotto and other women's health advocates are hopeful the report can be used as a stepping stone to enact change in the health care system along with government and private sectors.

"From a researcher perspective, a better and more concerted investment in women's health research is absolutely essential" in order to further educate health care practitioners, Brotto said.

—With files from Catherine Urquhart

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