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Health Minister Robin Swann outlines Women’s Health Action Plan

Health Minister Robin Swann MLA

A Women’s Health Action Plan is being developed by the Department of Health, Minister Robin Swann has said.

This will pave the way for a longer-term comprehensive Women’s Health Strategy.

The plan, covering the next three years, will identify the priority actions across women’s health services which can be taken forward within the current budget, as well as those for which additional investment may be required. It also builds on work already taking place.

“Women’s health and wellbeing issues are already high priorities for my Department. Work is actively ongoing to try to address these issues, despite the very difficult financial position that the Health and Social Care system faces,” the Health Minister said.

“A Women’s Health Action Plan for Northern Ireland will, for the first time, bring all of that work together into a unified plan, to demonstrate what we are trying to achieve and highlight where greater attention will be needed.”

Minister Swann outlined the plan during an Assembly Private Members’ Business Motion on Tuesday calling for a Women’s Health Strategy.

To support the Action Plan, there will be greater collaboration across all areas within the Department relating to women’s health, while also acknowledging the need for improved public awareness and information as well as support from the Northern Ireland Executive to take cross-departmental action where required. 

The Minister also plans to facilitate the start of a wider public conversation about women’s health in partnership with the voluntary and community sector in the near future.

“By putting women at the centre of discussions, we can ensure that their voices are heard and that limited funds are appropriately aligned with priorities,” the Minister added.

“I am confident that with the approach I have outlined today and the support of Assembly colleagues, we can improve health outcomes for all women and girls in Northern Ireland.”

The Women’s Health Action Plan will focus on areas which cover the whole life course, including fertility and pregnancy, post-natal healthcare, baby loss, menopause, and gynaecological services.

Work on the Plan is at an early stage. Further details will be shared in the coming weeks.


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