Women's health plan published as Scottish Government aims to tackle inequalities
The Scottish Government has published a plan that aims to improve health and reduce inequalities for women in Scotland.
It's a document outlining change in areas including menopause, heart, menstrual and sexual health.
The plan sets out 66 actions, which intend to ensure all women can access the best possible healthcare throughout their lives.
Maree Todd, the women's health minister, said it is Scotland's ambition "to be a world leader when it comes to women's health" as her government's vision was unveiled.
She said: "Our vision for women’s health is an ambitious one – and rightly so. It is clear that wider change must happen to ensure all our health and social care services meet the needs of all women, everywhere.
"Women’s health is not just a women's issue. When women and girls are supported to lead healthy lives and fulfil their potential, the whole of society benefits.
"Together, we are working to address inequalities in all aspects of health that women are facing.
"The Women’s Health Plan signals our ambition and determination to see change for women in Scotland, for their health and for their role in society. We want Scotland to be a world leader when it comes to women’s health."
A number of key actions included within the plan are appointing a national women’s health champion and women’s health lead in every NHS board, establishing a women’s health research fund to close gaps in scientific and medical knowledge and providing a central platform for women’s health information on NHS Inform.
The measures extend to setting up a women’s health community pharmacy service, commissioning endometriosis research to develop better treatment and management, as well as a cure, developing a menopause and menstrual health workplace policy, and improving information and public awareness of heart disease symptoms and risks for women.
James Jopling, head of British Heart Foundation Scotland, said: "Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in women in Scotland and kills nearly three times as many as women as breast cancer.
"At every stage – from the moment they experience symptoms through to their cardiac rehabilitation – women with heart disease can face disadvantages. We need to improve understanding of the risks for women and increase their awareness of the symptoms of a heart attack.
"We must also promote equality of treatment for women with heart disease within the healthcare system, at every point in their journey. The publication of the Women’s Health Plan, with heart health as a priority, is a welcome step to tackle these inequalities and we look forward to working together to help save and improve lives."