The Status of Young Women in Scotland 2022 - 2023: Experiences of Accessing Healthcare

The Young Women’s Movement launch their latest report exploring young women and people of marginalised genders’ experiences of accessing healthcare in Scotland.

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Scotland’s young women are struggling to access the healthcare they need and deserve, according to a new report: The Status of Young Women in Scotland 2022 – 2023: Experiences of Accessing Healthcare by The Young Women’s Movement. The sixth iteration of the Status of Young Women in Scotland annual research project took place between October 2022 – April 2023, and explores the experiences of young women throughout their healthcare journey, from registering with a medical centre to interacting with healthcare professionals. The report identifies the changes needed to improve healthcare experiences for young women.

Overall, young women struggle to access the healthcare they need and deserve. Young women are not taken seriously in healthcare settings, they are often dismissed, and their experiences are minimised. Many said they feel patronised and not believed by healthcare professionals. Young women were then often left with no further offer of support or follow-up from healthcare professionals.

The report also highlights how age, gender, living in rural areas, being part of an ethnic minority, being disabled, being trans, and body type and weight compounded issues of accessing healthcare. Young women felt dismissed and minimised by healthcare professionals, leading to a lack of further support or follow-up care. People with long-term health conditions had some of the worst experiences due to the one-size-fits-all nature of treatment; they were 49% more likely to rate their experiences of accessing healthcare negatively. 65% of disabled respondents stated that having a disability was associated with poorer access to healthcare.

The report also found that young women have to tirelessly advocate for themselves in healthcare settings to get the support, treatment or follow-up care that they need.