Seanad debates

Monday, 8 March 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Disease Management

10:30 am

Photo of Erin McGreehanErin McGreehan (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

As a sufferer of endometriosis, I know it is a tremendous disease. It takes over one's body and mind. One deals with pain several times each month. It is incredible. I am one of the lucky ones because I know what is wrong with me. There are thousands of women who do not know what the problem is. They are told by their doctors that it is a normal pain. It is not normal. As Senator Chambers stated, they are told to buck up and get on with it and that this is part of being a woman. Pain is not part of being a woman. That said, we have seen time and again that pain is synonymous with being a woman in this country and we have seen the bruises and suffering associated with that.

The current waiting lists for gynaecological outpatients' appointments are incredible. More than 30,000 women are awaiting treatment and a doctor's appointment. That is absolutely horrendous. Given that one in ten women has endometriosis, how many of those women awaiting an outpatient's appointment have endometriosis but are not getting treatment? We need quick action on getting those ambulatory clinical services open sooner rather than later because this is about quality of life for young women and girls who are suffering but do not know what is wrong with them. They are told it is all in their heads. I ask the Minister of State to please bring that back to the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, because action needs to be taken.


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