Please sign this petition to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the HSE to show your support for adding the word "women" back into the HSE guidance relating to cervical screening.
Many people are unaware but in March 2020, the Health Service Executive of Ireland (the HSE) changed the wording of information relating to cervical screening.
On the HSE's webpage "Who should have cervical screening" the word woman has been removed.
(See: https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/cervical-screening/when-you-should-have-cervical-screening/who-should-have-cervical-screening.html#hysterectomy )
The revised literature includes language considering people with different gender identities which is of course, a very welcome step. However, we also call for the inclusion of the word "woman" as this removal risks adversely impacting a significant proportion of women who cervical screening is intended to service.
Some health professionals involved in the cervical screening programme have expressed concern on social media about the risks of harm to patients as a result of the removal of the word woman. Research suggests that their concern is justified; 44.2% of women don't know what the cervix is according to the UK's leading cervical cancer charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust
According to the HSE's own Plain English Guidelines (https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/communications/communicatingclearly/guidelines-for-communicating-clearly-using-plain-english.pdf ). :
- 38% of people have limited health literacy
- people with limited health literacy are less likely to go for screening
- language used by the HSE should respect all patient groups.
Removal of the word woman excludes the 44.2% of women who do not know what a cervix is and is contrary to the HSE's own Plain English Guidelines.
The HSE have not yet provided any evidence that a risk assessment was carried out as part of the process which led to the removal of the word woman.
Tweet @HSELive with #IncludeWomenHSE & demand for "women" to be included in webpages & literature pertaining to women's health or email email@example.com
Please sign this petition to the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the HSE to show your support for the word "women" to be added alongside existing language. #IncludeWomenHSE
The Include the word 'women' in HSE cervical screening information petition to HSE & Minister of Health Ireland was written by Radicailín and is in the category Health at GoPetition.