Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Ceisteanna (156)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

156. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the reason for the absence of a person (details supplied) who is an expert on endometriosis on the women’s health task force; and if there is another expert on the illness on the task force. [50492/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I established the Women's Health Taskforce in the Department of Health to improve health outcomes and experiences of healthcare for women. The Taskforce has been established for a two year period and is meeting regularly, there have been two full meetings to date with the third scheduled for December.

Membership of the Taskforce includes staff from multiple units within the Department of Health as well as representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality, the HSE, the National Women's Council of Ireland, the European Institute of Women's Health, the Institute of Public Health, and the Irish College of General Practitioners.

I wish to reassure the Deputy that while it is not possible to have a representative from every area of women's health participate directly on the Taskforce, listening to the experiences of women is central to its work.

Each week, external experts in the area of women's health meet with members of the Taskforce in the Department of Health to inform its work. This initiative has been underway since the Taskforce was established. The Endometriosis Association of Ireland recently presented to members of the Taskforce, highlighting this important issue which affects many women in Ireland.

In addition, the first action of the Taskforce is to lead a 'radical listening' exercise inviting women in Ireland to share their experiences of and solutions for the health system. There will be multiple opportunities for anyone interested to feed into the work of the Taskforce and I would encourage them to do so. The work of the Taskforce, as well as opportunities to engage, can be tracked on the Taskforce's webpage.

This information and data, combined with the other available evidence will form the basis for future policy and action to improve women's health in Ireland.