Let’s open the debate on Women’s equality in Healthcare
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #embraceequity.
HHT Ireland, together with HHT Europe has dedicated time to understanding the implication of the gender gap in healthcare.
What do you think? Have you experienced this?
This article touches on the main issues we have learned concerning the topic and we hope to open a debate with all HHT patients across Europe and beyond. Feel free to share your personal experiences so we can start a focus group on HHT-related gaps in healthcare based on gender.
Understanding “gender inequality in health”
What data reveals:
– 20% of women feel their doctor has ignored or dismissed their symptoms; 17% feel they have been treated differently because of their gender.
– Women receive a later diagnosis of over 700 different diseases than men, which delays their access to preventive care and/or treatment.
– Women are more likely to suffer from multiple chronic conditions throughout their lives. These conditions are less studied and less well known, therefore there are fewer treatments.
– Chronic pain is more recurrent in women than in men, but women statistically receive less treatment for pain and often their pain is dismissed as a psychological issue.
How research and drug development affect the gender health gap
- Countless drugs developed in the 20th century were only tested on men.
- The scientific community is far behind when it comes to understanding women’s health issues
- Our biological differences can impact our pathways differently and this needs to be acknowledged in all research in which women participate.
How employment and pay inequality affect the gender health gap
- Suffer higher unemployment rates than men
- Find themselves burdened with additional caring and domestic responsibilities.
- pay gap and pension gap weaken women’s ability to seek out care.
What is your experience?
We are aware that many men experience the same difficulties in access to health care, especially in rare diseases. While those struggles will always be addressed by our patient organization, we would like to collect the experiences of women with HHT to open a focus group allowing us to personalize actions to improve access to care and treatment based on gender while giving each other mutual support and understanding.
Feel free to share your story with us via email. Your story will not be shared with third parties but you might be contacted to be invited to the focus group sessions over the next few months.