It is crucial work resumes on women's health strategy if we are to tackle health inequalities, says McAllister, ahead of Assembly motion

It is crucial work resumes on a women’s health strategy as soon as possible if we are to tackle the health inequalities facing women, Alliance MLA Nuala McAllister has said.

Health Nuala McAllister

The North Belfast MLA was speaking ahead of an Assembly motion being brought by Alliance tomorrow (Tuesday), calling for a fully-budgeted women’s health strategy to be introduced by the Health Minister, addressing every aspect of a woman’s life from birth.

“It is an unfortunate reality women often face additional barriers to accessing proper healthcare, with concerns too frequently dismissed or incorrectly attributed to mental health or menstruation,” said Ms McAllister.

“Evidence shows a lack of research into conditions specifically affecting women can lead to poor health advice, misdiagnosis, delayed or ineffective treatment and overall worse outcomes. If we are to tackle this, we must take a holistic approach with a women’s health strategy, encompassing all aspects of healthcare.

“It must begin with proper health education, to ensure everyone, not just women, are equipped with the facts around the health challenges specifically impacting women throughout their lives. Many organisations in the sector have been calling for years for more bespoke services. While we have listened to them, now we need the leadership to follow.

“I was glad to see the Health Minister last week reference the need for a women’s health action plan. This is a piece of work long overdue, with work beginning in the Department in the last mandate but being delayed due to the pandemic and Assembly collapse.

“It is crucial that work resumes as soon as possible – no more pauses – if we are to tackle the health inequalities facing women and give local women confidence their health is a priority for this new Executive.”




“That this Assembly calls on the Minister of Health, working with his Executive colleagues, to bring forward, as a priority, a fully-budgeted Women’s Health Strategy that supports women through every stage of their lives, and is focused on education and awareness raising, screening and earlier diagnosis, and support services and care pathways; and further calls on the Minister and his Executive colleagues to include in this strategy a menopause clinic, earlier gynaecological cancer screening, a framework of support relating to fertility, birth control, pregnancy, baby loss and post-natal healthcare, an emphasis on menstrual health including long-term specialist support for endometriosis, and plans to tackle health inequalities experienced by women from different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds”