Struggles and inequality in healthcare

Happy Monday treehouse! Wishing everyone a restful and recuperative week enjoying the holidays. :christmas_tree: :clinking_glasses: :love_letter:

Excitingly, 4 days ago, it was announced that England has plans to appoint a women’s health ambassador to reduce health inequality - with more information to come following publication of the Women’s Health Strategy in Spring 2022. The review found that across every age group, “women face hurdles in accessing the medical care or information they need,” and it also revealed that “over three-quarters of women feel that the healthcare service has not listened!”

Now I hardly think these are findings reserved to women’s experience of the healthcare system, but it does help to illustrate just how great of an opportunity (and necessity) there is for major change.

For example, I was shocked to find out recently that women were not legally required as participants in clinical trials until as late as 1993!! (Liu & Mager, 2016)

Low and behold, the vast majority of prescriptions drugs were clinically trialed and approved long before that time - meaning the unique effects of certain medications on women are only just beginning to be fully understood.

Personally I struggle in trying to balance my amazement in how far modern science has come, and trying not to feel disappointed in how far modern healthcare still has to go. I’ve had such mixed experiences with doctors (both in the US and the US) and it can be so frustrating to not be taken seriously as the owner and sole operator of your own body.

Imagining a future filled with plants provides some relief, and I’m optimistic that things are slowly beginning to change. What about you?

Now off to drink some chamomile to quell the feminism rage… HA! :upside_down_face:

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Even since the requirement to include women in the clinical trials the percentage of participants being female is still low. If I remember correctly, trials tended to use only virile males in their 20s. So they didn’t even consider the impact on “seasoned” adults or pregnant women.

There are doctors today that still essentially tell female patients that it’s all in their head. Thankfully I’ve never experienced that. There are still a lot of women that don’t feel heard by the healthcare systems around the world.

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Absolutely and I think you’re spot on! Women (and especially minorities) are much less likely to participate in clinical trials at all - and I’m not convinced anyone has properly taken the time to figure out why or try to fix it…

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Predominantly male because it was the men who made all the decisions, even sending the women in their families to institutions for being vocal or hormonal (I’m guessing it was hormones making them “crazy”). Minorities have historically been treated as sub-citizens or property so they didn’t care about how things affected these groups. Then there’s things like the experiments that were done in concentration camps and Tuskegee that lead minorities to completely distrust trials.

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FYI I’ve noticed that even though I select either the black and white individual selections or the “two or more races” option that I’m still often logged as white in their systems.

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