A new report analyzing different healthcare systems within the developed world has revealed that Canada takes second place in terms of the countries offering the fairest access to treatment for women.
As part of the new Global Health Inequalities Report, the Radar Healthcare team decided to take a deep delve into patient equality when it comes to gender-specific treatments, based on the current laws and regulations in place.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for women to be diagnosed with “hysteria,” brushing off any real diagnosis and effectively forcing them to suffer with their conditions without adequate medical attention. While the healthcare quality for women has improved since then, there are undoubtedly more important measures to take in certain territories regarding treatment and care.
Radar Healthcare ranked the developed countries offering women the fairest access to healthcare by taking into account such factors as access to birth control and abortions, IVF treatment options, and medical tests and screenings aimed exclusively at biological females (e.g, cervical screenings and mammograms).
Top 10 developed countries for women’s healthcare equality
|Country||Women’s Healthcare Equality Score /105|
Despite offering residents cervical smear tests from the age of 21, access to legal abortions up until 23 weeks, and free birth control options to those aged 25 and under, Canada narrowly missed out on being first place to the UK in the ranking.
There are certain areas where Canada scored less favorably than other countries researched, which would have contributed to the second-place score of 80.5/105.
These include only offering those aged 43 and younger access to IVF treatment. Countries including Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Italy all offer the treatment to those wishing to become mothers up until the age of at least 50, while the healthcare systems in Singapore and Poland have no upper age limit.
A recent article explained that “fertility falls by half” when a woman reaches the age of 40, which could go some way to explaining why Canadian and also French healthcare experts stop offering IVF treatment at the age of 43. That being said, 27 of the countries analyzed have no male age limit on IVF treatment, shining somewhat of a light on inequality regarding the path to parenthood, as male fertility also begins to decline around the age of 40.
Also having somewhat of a negative impact on the Canadian score is the laws around paid maternity leave offered to brand-new mothers, which can have ramifications on one’s mental health and general well-being during such a huge life event. Despite countries like Estonia (62 weeks), Denmark (52 weeks), Norway (49 weeks), and the UK (39 weeks) offering substantial lengths of paid maternity leave, the legal Canadian offering of just 15 weeks fell a little short in comparison.
The full women’s health report can be found here.