Minister for Health announces significant expansion of priority Women’s Health Services: Menopause Care, Postnatal Care & Endometriosis
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, today allocated up to €2.5m funding for priority areas within the Women’s Health Action Plan.
The Women’s Health Fund (€10m) will ring-fence €2.5m for the National Women and Infants Health Programme in the HSE to accelerate service delivery in four critical areas in 2022.
- Menopause: The Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-23 committed to developing 4 specialist menopause clinics nationally in 2022, this further investment will support 2 additional specialist Menopause Clinics, bringing a total of 6 such clinics nationwide for women who require complex, specialist care.
- Postnatal Care: The Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-23 committed to developing a new more holistic model for supporting women in the weeks after giving birth, this investment will support 2 additional community-based Postnatal Hubs for women, bringing a total of 4 hubs nationwide in 2022.
- Endometriosis: The Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-23 committed to supporting the ongoing development of 2 supra-regional specialist centres for complex care for endometriosis for the first-time. This latest investment will create a new tier of additional support at hospital level, by investing in resources for 6 additional interdisciplinary teams to support holistic treatment of endometriosis within each of the hospital networks.
- Targeted Support for Marginalised Women: The Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-23 put a clear focus on increasing supports for marginalised women and groups that face multiple disadvantages. This investment will support the implementation of additional medical social work resources across the six maternity networks, significantly enhancing this critical support at what can be a vulnerable time for many women.
This ring-fencing marks the first allocations from the Women’s Health Fund for 2022 and will be supported throughout the year by other investments that respond to the issues that women have asked us to prioritise and align with the priorities of the Women’s Health Action Plan 2022-23.
Minister Donnelly said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce additional services in women’s health, going beyond what we announced in the Women’s Health Action Plan.
“We are expanding the number of specialist menopause clinics nationally and more quickly than planned, delivering a total of 6 clinics in 2022.
“We will also grow the secondary care provisions for women with endometriosis so that there is more support available nationally. This will ensure women are appropriately referred to the spectrum of endometriosis treatment available – from GP care to the new supra-regional services – depending on their need.
“Women from marginalised groups have made it clear that access to healthcare is a priority for them. We will provide 6 medical social workers in the area of maternity to enable early intervention and improve supports.
“In developing the Women’s Health Action Plan, women made it clear that postnatal supports needed to be improved. Too many women felt unsupported, isolated and overwhelmed following their baby’s birth. I am delighted that as a result of today’s decisions we will now have 4 postnatal hubs operating nationwide to support women in areas such as breastfeeding, birth recovery and postnatal depression.”
Dr Cliona Murphy, Clinical Lead for the National Women and Infants Health Programme in the HSE has warmly welcomed this allocation saying “The Minister has encouraged us to be ambitious in our work on women’s health. To be in a position mid-year, through this allocation, to expand and accelerate our already ambitious work programme is really satisfying because we know first-hand the difference this will makes to the lives of women right around the country”.