Advances in Women’s Health Services Welcomed As Women’s Health Week Launched


The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton and Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler have highlighted the significant advancements in Women’s Health provision as they launch the second annual Women’s Health Week.

This week also marks one year from the launch of the Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-2023 – a fully-funded strategy for improving women’s health in Ireland.

In that time, there have been significant developments in the provision of care for women across all life stages, including the roll-out of a free contraception scheme for women aged 17-26, the establishment of Regional Fertility Hubs, significant investment in the National Maternity Strategy, investment in two supra-regional endometriosis specialist centres for complex care and five interdisciplinary teams to support the holistic treatment of endometriosis in each of the maternity networks, as well as Specialist Menopause Clinics.

The Department of Health also launched the first ever national Menopause Awareness Week and a dedicated website in order to improve knowledge, awareness and supports so that women can proactively manage their experience of menopause.

With a focus on improving women’s health through prevention and early intervention, increased investment has provided additional primary care supports, improved access to mental health supports and initiatives to improve uptake of screening services.

Minister Donnelly said, “it is incredible to reflect on all the milestones we have reached in just one year, proving that the long-overdue revolution of women’s healthcare in Ireland is well underway. I have made it a priority as Minister for Health to listen to women and respond to their requests for improved services at all levels, and equality of access to those services.\”

“We’re working to ensure that women all over the country get the care they need at the time they need it and I’ve had the opportunity to meet with patients who are already benefitting from these improvements. However, we have much more to do and throughout the week we’ll be announcing further developments that will ultimately transform women’s healthcare experience in Ireland.”

Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drug Strategy Hildegarde Naughton said, “the Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-2023 is a landmark in policy making – putting women at the heart of the policy-making process. It enables us to offer better and more timely care to women with tailored services across all age groups, increasing opportunities for women to become partners in their own healthcare.\”

“Women should never feel as if their gender is a burden and we’re helping to address gender health inequalities through numerous initiatives, such as the period poverty programme and free contraception scheme. We’re also working to promote a proactive approach to health by improving uptake of screening services, particularly among marginalised groups.”

Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler said, “in the past year, the Women’s Health Fund has invested €1.9 million to accelerate the development of a range of mental health services, including perinatal mental health supports, specialists eating disorder supports, and targeted mental health supports for vulnerable people including women in addiction and marginalised women.\”

“Women account for half our population so their needs must be reflected and addressed in the way we approach all our healthcare services. I’m looking forward to sharing details of progressive initiatives in the coming days that will further enhance the provision of mental health services for women in Ireland.”

Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health Women’s Health Champion and Co-Chair of the Women’s Health Taskforce Rachel Kenna, said, “since the publication of the Women\’s Health Action Plan 2022-2023, we have seen great momentum in the developments for women’s healthcare provision, with rapid expansion and first-of-their-kind services delivered in year.\”

“From contraception to menopause, we are delivering new supports and services that are making a measurable difference to the lives of women in Ireland. The Department of Health, Women\’s Health Taskforce, HSE and key partners will continue to drive women\’s health forward, with fresh focus on research, access and information – giving Women\’s Health the investment and focused attention it deserves.\”


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