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Suggestion of Minister for Women's Health 'risks sidelining issues'

One TD says any suggestion of a separate health minister for women could sideline important issue...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.10 16 Sep 2021


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Suggestion of Minister for Wom...

Suggestion of Minister for Women's Health 'risks sidelining issues'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.10 16 Sep 2021


Share this article


One TD says any suggestion of a separate health minister for women could sideline important issues.

A new report has found some women's experiences of the healthcare service are rushed, unsupported and unheard.

While some maternity restrictions are still in place and exclusion zones around abortion services have yet to be implemented.

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Patient advocate Vicky Phelan previously suggested that Ireland appoint a Minister for Women's Health if women's issues are to be taken seriously.

But Social Democrat TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore told Newstalk Breakfast this could actually hurt them.

"We have a minister for women's health, and that is the Minister for Health.

"He needs to implement these reforms, and he needs to make sure that he puts women's health issues at the top of his priority list.

"I think there could be a risk that if you had a specific junior minister for women's health, that it's seen as a minority issue, it's seen as something that could potentially be sidelined."

But she says women's health issues do not get the focus they should.

"The minister can come out, and Fianna Fáil can come out, with as many promotional videos and as many social media posts talking about how they're putting maternity services at the top of the priority list.

"Women know they are not, they know we're not being listened to, we're not getting the services that we require... and actually that we have been promised."

She says suggestions for a 'radical listening exercise' by ministers is not the answer.

"Women don't need a radical listening exercise; we have been very vocal about what we need.

"And what we need is the minister to actually hear what we're saying, and put actions in place to make sure that all those issues are implemented and resolved".

Main image: Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore speaking to media on the plinth outside Leinster House, Dublin in September 2021. Picture by: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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Health Minister For Women Jennifer Whitmore Minister For Women's Health Newstalk Breakfast

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