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Government to consider organising a national awareness campaign on menopause

DUBLIN: The Government is preparing to launch a national awareness campaign to address the issues facing by women in connection with menopause. Taoiseach Micheál Martin declared his support for the campaign and stated that the government “will act on driving a progressive health policy for women’s health.”

The Prime Minister was speaking in favor of a motion presented by TD Niamh Smith at a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting to support women with menopause.

TD Catherine Ardagh, and senators Lisa Chambers and Lorraine Clifford Lee, also backed the motion calling for an awareness campaign.TD Ardagh said around 30,000 women are waiting on the public gynecologist waiting lists, and this needs to change.

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also supported the motion. Minister Donnelly said the Liveline program, which allowed women to tell their menopausal stories, was “incredibly important”.

50% of country are impacted by menopause

Green Party senator Pauline O’Reilly told the Seanad that 50% of women in the country are impacted by menopause and it is time to have a proper conversation about it.

She said women are saying they do not fully understand what is happening to them and that their Gps are not fully educated around hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

“A high proportion – up to 10% – of women who are suffering symptoms actually leave work as a result of the menopause. When they go to the doctor, this is not really recognised. They may need a sick certificate for a certain period. Do their employers recognise the impact this is having on them? 

“The impacts range across mental and physical health and can be really debilitating,” she said.

Statement of Department of Health

Menopause has also been identified as a priority under the Women’s Health Taskforce, the Department of Health said. The Women’s Health Task Force, established in September 2019, aims to improve women’s health care and experience.

“Activity relating to menopause in particular is currently under development. Implementation of actions will be supported by the Budget 2021 allocation of a dedicated €5 million ‘Women’s Health Fund,” the department said in a statement.

“Women who have a medical card are entitled to a range of services including general practitioner services, prescribed drugs and medicines, all in-patient public hospital services in public wards (including consultant services), all out-patient public hospital services (including consultant services),” added the department.

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