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Stephen Donnelly confirms opening of two additional specialist menopause clinics

A total of six menopause clinics will be rolled out nationwide this year.

Image: Sam Boal

HEALTH MINISTER STEPHEN Donnelly has today confirmed that funding from his department will allow for two additional specialist menopause clinics to open this year.

The Women’s Health Action Plan committed to opening four specialist menopause clinics nationally in 2022.

The minister today allocated further investment to support two additional specialist menopause clinics, bringing a total of six such clinics nationwide for women who require complex, specialist care. 

The €2.5m funding has been ring-fenced for priority areas within the Women’s Health Action Plan such as menopause care, postnatal care and endometriosis.

The funding announced today seeks to accelerate service delivery in developing a new more holistic model for supporting women in the weeks after giving birth. 

This investment will support two additional community-based postnatal hubs for women, bringing a total of four hubs nationwide in 2022.

The Women’s Health Action Plan also commits to supporting the ongoing development of two regional specialist centres for complex care for endometriosis for the first-time.

Endometriosis and postnatal care

This latest investment will create a new tier of additional support at hospital level, by investing in resources for six additional interdisciplinary teams to support holistic treatment of endometriosis within each of the hospital networks.

The minister wants to increase supports for marginalised women and groups that face multiple disadvantages, with this funding going to support the implementation of additional medical social work resources across the six maternity networks.

“I’m delighted to be able to announce additional services in women’s health, going beyond what we announced in the Women’s Health Action Plan,” he said, adding that the money will help expand specialist menopause clinics “more quickly than planned”.

“We will also grow the secondary care provisions for women with endometriosis so that there is more support available nationally. This will ensure women are appropriately referred to the spectrum of endometriosis treatment available – from GP care to the new supra-regional services – depending on their need,” he said.

The minister said through the development of the Women’s Health Action Plan, women “made it clear that postnatal supports needed to be improved”.

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“Too many women felt unsupported, isolated and overwhelmed following their baby’s birth. I am delighted that as a result of today’s decisions we will now have four postnatal hubs operating nationwide to support women in areas such as breastfeeding, birth recovery and postnatal depression,” he said.

Dr Cliona Murphy, Clinical Lead for the National Women and Infants Health Programme in the HSE warmly welcomed this allocation and the acceleration of the roll out of services. She said “we know first-hand the difference this will makes to the lives of women right around the country”.

The Noteworthy team wants to examine if we are taking women’s sexual and reproductive health seriously in Ireland. Support this project here.

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