As the First Minister will know, this is endometriosis awareness week in Scotland.
One in 10 women of child-bearing age suffer from endometriosis, a gynaecological condition that is often painful and debilitating. Astonishingly, 74 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women are unaware of it. On average, it takes 7.5 years for a condition that is often idiosyncratic and distressing to be diagnosed.
There are now three specialist endometriosis centres, in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. What further action can the Scottish Government take to improve the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a debilitating condition, and many women have suffered in silence with it for far too long.
The Scottish Government is committed to making improvements for people who have the condition. We are contributing funding to a number of research programmes to investigate both causation and treatments. Work is also under way to raise awareness, enable quicker diagnosis and improve access to care and support. That includes the work of the three specialist endometriosis centres, which offer multidisciplinary treatment for people with complex endometriosis, as well as the development of expertise in primary care cluster groups and more support for self-management of the condition.
In addition, this year we are developing a women’s health plan as part of the programme for government. The plan will set out further actions to address all the health equalities that are faced by women, including those who are living with endometriosis.