Highlands MSP presses government on women’s health concerns

SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Emma Roddick has raised the plight of endometriosis sufferers in the Highlands in the Scottish Parliament, claiming the isolation felt by those with the diagnosis is “intensified” when they live far from hospitals able to treat it.

Speaking in today’s debate, she said:

“Endometriosis often has a devastatingly isolating effect on those who have it, but I do think that is intensified if you live in a rural area, or far from the nearest hospital which can offer treatment.

“I’m aware in particular of a number of women in rural Highlands and Caithness who, after what we all know is a long wait, have to make preparations for a lengthy trip to Raigmore for a hysterectomy or other procedure. Childcare is arranged, cover agreed at work, and petrol money exchanged ahead of what they expect will be a life-changing moment. A last-minute cancellation of that appointment can make it feel like the whole world has fallen apart.

“I’m heartened by the commitment in the government’s Women’s Health Plan to reduce the time it takes to make a diagnosis. Alongside that, we have to make sure a diagnosis means treatment, too, not years – or even decades – of waiting for a solution in pain while sacrificing the life you want to live.

“I will continue to press for improvement in these areas and for consideration of those living in rural and island communities when new policy is designed.”