HomeTagsPosts tagged with "gynaecology"

gynaecology

by

Almost 30,000 people across Ireland are on a waiting list to see a gynaecologist for an outpatient appointment, consultants have warned. This is a massive increase of 43 percent since 2014.

The #CareCantWait campaign from the Irish Hospital Consultant Association (IHCA) has been launched today, warning of the hazardous consequences of lengthy wait times on patients.

The campaign is also calling on the Government to address the problem of consultant shortages with speed and empathy.

Currently, one-in-five permanent consultant posts in Ireland's HSE are unfilled or else filled by temporary appointments. As a nation, we have the lowest amount of consultants working in the health service in the EU.

There's no doubt that this shortage is having an influence on the long waiting times and stark lack of access to essential services, according to the IHCA.

Ireland has the third-highest fertility rate in the EU, but the State has less than half of the EU average amount of specialists working in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Dr. Rhona Mahony, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and director of women’s health for the Ireland East Hospital Group has spoken out in a series of videos expressing her concerns.

She described the number of women waiting for gynaecological outpatient appointments as “distressing”, adding that Ireland has the lowest number of consultants in the OECD.

Dr Mahony emphasised that waiting lists have a "huge impact on quality of life", and claimed that many "simple procedures can change lives and radically improve a patient’s quality of life." 

"Not to be able to offer that to patients, in a country like Ireland, is really quite distressing, mainly for patients but also for those charged with giving care," she stressed.

Shockingly, 29,152 people who identify as women are waiting for a gynaecological outpatient appointment with a consultant at a public hospital in Ireland.

The highest numbers of people awaiting care are at Dublin hospitals, with 3,828 women waiting for an appointment at the Rotunda, 3,130 waiting at Tallaght and 2,542 waiting at the Coombe.

In Cork, 1,553 women are waiting to be seen at Cork University Hospital, and 1,184 are waiting at Limerick University Hospital. 1,467 women are waiting at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise and 1,385 are waiting in Mullingar.

Galway University Hospital has 1,882 women waiting for an outpatient appointment while Letterkenny has 1,773. Lastly, Cavan is seeing 1,142 waiting for care.

Waiting list figures from the end of May show over 556,000 patients waiting to see a consultant for an outpatient appointment, while a further 68,000 who have been assessed are waiting for follow-on treatment.

Irish Hospital Consultant Association has expressed it's worry over the lack of care, saying; “Tens of thousands of these patients are waiting long periods, often several years, to obtain an outpatient appointment."

HCA vice president and consultant rheumatologist Laura Durcan said consultants felt the need to to go public about the situation to inform the nation;

“None of this is okay,” said Dr Durcan. “You should be able to access timely care.”

7,392 admitted patients have been forced to wait on trolleys for a hospital bed in June, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). This amount is seven percent higher than last year.

There were 482 patients on trolleys last Tuesday, which marks the highest total for any June day since records started, and is 49 percent higher than the same date of last year.

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO general secretary, claims that this summer is as dire as the winter of five years ago; “Understaffing is driving year-round unsafe conditions,” she said

Trending

Gender bias in the medical industry is becoming increasingly more prominent as a direct result of women sharing their stories and opening up about their experiences with pain and illness.

Just last year, a study carried out by the Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health found that women are less likely to be given CPR. Men were more likely to survive cardiac arrest in a public place by a massive 23%.

This year alone, the CervicalCheck scandal has rightfully caused outrage in Ireland, when it was reported that hundreds of smears were in fact out-of-date, which resulted in the wrongful diagnosis of numerous women who could have survived if they had been given the accurate results in time. Only mere weeks ago, cervical cancer sufferer and campaigner Emma Mhic Mathúna died aged 37, a mother of five.

In tragic and life-altering instances such as these, women deserve compassion and respect in their healthcare journeys, it has since been reported that doctors were told to "use their own judgement" regarding whether or not to tell patients about their misdiagnosis.

The right to information surrounding your own body should be the lowest bar set, it cannot simply be a privilege for the few. Bodily autonomy has never been an equal playing field for men and women.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sandra Murphy (@sandraisinthecity) on

Vicky Phelan sued the US laboratory who wrongfully interpreted the results and was awarded €2.5 million in compensation by the High Court, after finding out in September 2017 that her 2011 smear test was a false negative.

In 2016, researchers at University College London found that women with dementia receive worse medical treatment than their male counterparts with the same condition. I could go on.

Statistics and cases such as these may seem like aberrations in the system, yet so many women claim to experience sexism in their GP clinics, local hospitals and consultants offices every day.

Gender, race and poverty are undeniable biases in healthcare- none of these should ever be ignored.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Erin Jackson (@erin_k_jackson) on

Sexism has been a major factor in medicine since time began, from Aristotle’s declaration that the female form is naturally inferior, to the connection of the uterus with apparent female “hysteria” in the middle ages, trying to get a doctor to empathise with female pain can be draining and hugely frustrating.

This is not helped by the fact that the majority of consultants and specialists are male, and are rarely trained to spot female symptoms or female illnesses in the same detail as those of the male body.

It may seem absurd in this day and age that the Victorians confined women to asylums, whether they showed any evidence of mental illness or not, but doubt still leaks into clinics and hospitals when it comes to female pain.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gwynn Raimondi MA LMFTA (@gwynnraimondi) on

The fact that women have to go through the most difficult time to get a diagnosis of female illnesses such as fibromyalgia and endometriosis speaks volumes into the lack of funding which goes into researching these diseases, which affect thousands of women nationwide.

Fibromyalgia is still suspended in the disbelief of numerous practitioners, despite women pertaining symptoms for years at a time without gaining any appropriate treatment.

Lady Gaga has recently spoken out as a sufferer of this condition, asking for better healthcare to treat this complex disease which causes total body pain.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Abby Norman (@abbymnorman) on

Women are portrayed as hysterical hypochondriacs, and men are constantly depicted as the silent stoic types, who refuse to show weakness in the form attending a prostate exam that could save their life.

The Girl Who Cried Pain represents a 2001 study by Anita Tarzian and Diane Hoffman which examined pain management and gender. It showed clearly that women were far less likely to be given pain relief or long-term medication for pain (drugs such as Gabapentin, Lyrica and Amitriptylene), and it also revealed that women are less likely to gain the adequate treatment by healthcare providers.

Ask Me About My Uterus by Abby Norman is another fascinating read which describes her torturous experience of trying to get a diagnosis for her endometriosis, a dangerous illness where uterine tissue grows on organs outside of the womb. Often the only treatment is sedatives, or a hysterectomy. Endometriosis UK has claimed that despite the illness affecting 1 in 10 women, it takes an average of nine years to get a diagnosis.

I had to beg my own consultant for a laparoscopy exam after two relentless years of chronic abdominal pain, and he stopped my GP from prescribing me my vital pain medication after claiming that there was “no reason” for my pain. AKA, he didn’t believe me.

I have since been diagnosed in the US after three years with a congenital pain condition where I was born with a vast excess of nerve endings at the base of my spine, which affects over 13% of women, and yet not a single doctor in Ireland or Britain could offer any treatment or advice.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sarah B. Sweet (@urmultifaceted) on

When I went to America, the specialist who has thousands of female patients who travel across America to see him told me that he is refused funding daily for his clinical trials and research into female pain, for the reason that all the funding is instead siphoned into drugs aimed at male pleasure, despite there already being several high-quality treatments.

According to PubMed, there are currently over 2,000 trials focusing on erectile dysfunction, and a grand total of 300 on EVERY TYPE of female pain.

If you don’t believe that stigma and sexism is prevalent in healthcare, maybe question why it’s so easy for a man to walk out of a GP clinic with a prescription for Viagra, yet it takes a woman in excruciating pain nine years to get told she has endometriosis, a life-long illness.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hannah Persyn (@_.merely.mystified.matter._) on

Since 1995, it has been confirmed that women experience stimuli at a more intense level than men.

Women have a proven different experience of pain than men, surely they deserve to be taken as seriously?

Yet society has conditioned women to ignore their pain, to handle it with clenched teeth and no complaints.

If you’re going to focus entirely on male pleasure, don’t ignore female pain, because it won’t be kept silent.

By Kate Brayden

Feature image: Instagram/@kdkatcricket

Trending