Major investment in women’s health – for a more equal healthcare system

”The regional differences need to decrease and the long-term supply of midwives and other professions needs to be secured,” write Acko Ankarberg Johansson and Désirée Pethrus (both Christian Democrats), in an opinion article.

Access to equal healthcare throughout Sweden is a priority for the Government. We have already adopted several initiatives to strengthen maternity care and care for diseases that primarily affect women and girls. The Government is also allocating SEK 1.6 billion annually for this purpose. For Region Stockholm, this means a financial contribution of around SEK 318 million in 2024.

Equal health is one of the six gender equality policy goals. According to these, women and men, girls and boys should have the same preconditions for good health and be offered health and social care on equal terms. However, follow-ups show that women generally experience poorer health than men, a fact that is particularly evident among women with a lower level of education.

Diseases that mainly affect girls and women are not as extensively researched as other diseases. The capacity to diagnose and provide good care and treatment for these diseases needs to be developed. Currently, there are also large regional differences in health care results for diseases and conditions that mainly affect women and girls. This means that healthcare can differ depending on where in the country women and girls turn for treatment.

Knowledge and research on women’s diseases and conditions must be developed and strengthened. We also need to strengthen care for victims of sexual violence, children as well as adults. Sexual violence causes great suffering for the individual and often requires long rehabilitation for the victim.

Every woman should have confidence in the care she receives during pregnancy and before, during and after childbirth. Maternity care therefore needs to become more accessible, equal and personalised, and the skills supply of midwives and other professionals needs to be secured. As a step in this direction, the Government has commissioned the National Board of Health and Welfare to develop a national maternity plan to ensure safe maternity care with good working conditions for healthcare staff.

Regional differences must be reduced, and the long-term skills supply of midwives and other professionals must be secured. To further strengthen maternal health care and childbirth care in rural areas, the Government is allocating SEK 150 million specifically for this purpose for 2024. For Region Stockholm, this means an extra contribution of approximately SEK 3.8 million. Funds may be used for initiatives to strengthen the healthcare system’s accessibility and quality. This may involve the reopening of maternity clinics, preserving clinics that would otherwise close down, new care beds at existing clinics, patient hotels or quality-enhancing initiatives that contribute to good accessibility.

The Kristdemokraterna in government makes a difference. For us, it is a basic principle that Sweden’s healthcare should be needs-driven, good, easily accessible, equal and gender equal. The Government’s initiatives will contribute to more accessible, equal and knowledge-based care for girls and women throughout the country. Every woman should feel confident in the healthcare system.

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