Women's Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:14 am on 10th June 1988.

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Photo of Mrs Teresa Gorman Mrs Teresa Gorman , Billericay 11:14 am, 10th June 1988

I am just coming to that point.

In response to my experience I set up a new charity called the Amarant Trust to raise funds for King's college hospital medical school. It would like to set up a national centre to investigate all aspects of this treatment, to make it as effective as possible, and the various ways of administering the treatment. We certainly applied to the Minister for support and I hope that under section 64 she will consider giving us some help. We need about £2 million for the centre where we should like to retrain doctors because few understand the menopause. It is not a special discipline, but it ought to be. I hope that we will put it on the map, and that doctors in training will be given a special course.

I also hope that we shall persuade more GPs to make such treatment available on the National Health Service. However, I certainly do not exclude the possibility of private sector funds. I should like to see a centre in every town, to which mature women can go without embarrassment to talk to qualified nurses, chat about all their symptoms, be given screening and generally undergo a check-up in a friendly, happy atmosphere. While I hope very much that some of the funds will come from the private sector in co-operation with the Government, who cares where the money comes from so long as the project gets off the ground?

This is one of the most important aspects of medical care—preventive medicine at its best. As some doctors have pointed out, it keeps women out of the orthopaedic wards, the divorce courts and institutions for the senile—I hesitate to use the word "madhouses". Those institutions are unnecessarily filled with women who, if they received more attention, could be prevented from reaching such a condition. We could all end up in our eighties as active, healthy and alert as the Queen Mother.

I am happy that the Government are supporting that kind of preventive medicine, and I hope that they will give it more support.