A dedicated specialist menopause clinic is to be developed in the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin this year, according to the Department of Health.
The Department said the clinic will be multidisciplinary supported by GPs with a certified special interest in the area of menopause and clinical nurse/midwife specialists. In addition to seeing women who meet the clinical criteria for referral to the service, the clinical team will also provide advice and guidance to GPs in the community to support the effective management of menopausal symptoms for women closer to home within primary care.
Earlier this year, Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly announced his commitment to establish dedicated specialist menopause clinics across Ireland. “These clinics will form a core part of a new approach to menopause care for women in Ireland and will be supported by enhanced community and primary care supports as well as the publication of targeted and trusted sources of information for women experiencing menopause. The development follows the advice of the Women’s Health Taskforce and ring-fenced investment through the Women’s Health Fund,” said the Department.
To mark World Menopause Day, the Women’s Health Taskforce, in collaboration with the Civil Service Employee Assistance Service (CSEAS), held a civil service-wide webinar on ‘Let’s Talk: Menopause at Work’ with almost 500 attendees.
With almost 60% of the Civil Service workforce made up of women, the event aimed to normalise discussion around menopause with specific focus on menopause in a work context.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD welcomed the event: “We have heard from women that stigma and secrecy still exists around the menopause in Ireland. Events like this help to lift this secrecy and are an important part of the new approach to menopause care for women in Ireland.”
The event was opened by Secretary General for the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, and heard inputs from the Women’s Health Taskforce, the Irish College of General Practitioners, “Wellness Warrior” Catherine O’Keeffe, and the CSEAS. Attendees also had an opportunity to share what has worked for them in their journey through menopause at work.
In her opening remarks, Secretary General McCrum said: “Talking about the menopause should be a normal and natural conversation both at home and in the workplace. Women make up the majority of workers in the Irish civil service. We need to begin this conversation to ensure we provide a supportive working environment for them and all colleagues and develop a culture of openness.”
Building on this momentum, HR units from across the civil service will attend training to better understand the challenges and solutions for supporting women in their menopause journey within the civil service. This highlights the civil service commitment to continually critically assess how it can best support its workforce in the delivery of high-quality services to Government, the public and business.
Progressing women’s health is a priority for the Government, as outlined in the Programme for Government and strongly supported in Budget 2021, with an additional €31 million allocated for women’s health in Budget 2022.
Minister Donnelly said: “Budget 2022 demonstrated the government’s commitment to delivering better care for women, including funding for three more menopause clinics to be established in Galway, Cork, and Limerick in 2022.”