Silent Suffering: The Lack of Access to Women's Healthcare Services
Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right that should be available to everyone, regardless of their gender. However, in many parts of the world, (unfortunately including Canada), women face significant challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare services.
These challenges can be caused by a range of factors, including financial barriers, cultural biases, limited availability of women’s health services, or doctors not taking a women’s needs as seriously until it is too late. As a result, many women are unable to receive the care they need to maintain their health and well-being.
In this blog post, we will explore the issues surrounding the lack of healthcare for women and discuss why it is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. We will also look at some of the steps that can be taken to improve access to healthcare for women, both on a local and global level.
Why Women Face Disadvantages in Healthcare
Limited Availability of Female Healthcare Providers: Women may feel uncomfortable discussing certain health issues with male healthcare providers. However, there may be a shortage of female healthcare providers in certain areas, making it difficult for women to find a provider they feel comfortable with.
Discrimination and Bias: Women may face discrimination and bias in healthcare settings, such as being dismissed or not taken seriously by healthcare providers or receiving lower quality care than men.
Cultural and Language Barriers: Women from certain cultural backgrounds or who do not speak the dominant language may face communication barriers when accessing healthcare, which can make it difficult for them to understand their health conditions or treatments.
Lack of Flexibility in Healthcare Services: Women who have caregiving responsibilities may have difficulty accessing healthcare services that are only available during regular business hours. This can make it difficult for them to schedule appointments or receive necessary treatments.
Women’s Health Care in Canada
While Canada’s universal healthcare system provides access to medical services for all citizens, women in Canada still face a number of challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare. Here are some examples:
Lack of Access to Maternity Services: In some remote and rural areas of Canada, access to maternity services can be limited. This can be especially challenging for Indigenous women who may need to travel long distances to access medical care during pregnancy.
Inadequate Mental Health Services: Women in Canada are twice as likely to experience depression as men, yet mental health services are often inadequate, with long wait times for referrals to specialists and limited availability of counselling services. Furthermore, women are often dismissed when they seek mental health services.
Long Wait Times for Specialists: Women need to see a wide range of specialists that are specific to women’s bodies. Throughout a woman’s life, she will need access to gynecologists, dermatologists, eye specialists, access reproductive and maternal health services, and many more. However, making appointments with these specialists is often a lengthy and difficult process.
Limited Access to Abortion Services: While abortion is legal in Canada, some provinces have restrictions on where and how it can be accessed. This can lead to significant barriers for women seeking these services, particularly in rural areas where clinics may not be available.
Insufficient Support for Elderly Women: As women age, they may require more healthcare services, but the current healthcare system in Canada does not always meet their needs. Elderly women may struggle to access appropriate care, especially if they live alone or have limited financial resources.
Overall, these barriers can prevent women from accessing the healthcare services they need, which can negatively affect their health and well-being. It is important for healthcare providers and policymakers to address these disparities and work towards ensuring equitable access to healthcare for all women.
PsyMood is a digital tool designed to help you find the support you need in the language that you are most comfortable with. PsyMood considers cultural background, geographical location, interests, and personal needs, amongst other factors, to pair you with service providers for either online or in-person therapy sessions.