Women's healthcare in UK as bad as Kazakhstan and worse than Saudi Arabia

24 January 2023, 13:13

Poor access to screening was one of the reasons for the UK’s low ranking, according to analysts
Poor access to screening was one of the reasons for the UK’s low ranking, according to analysts. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Women's healthcare in Britain is as bad as Kazakhstan and worse than Saudi Arabia, a poll has found.

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The UK ranked much lower than other Western countries - including the US, Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany - due to poor efforts at prevention, diagnosis and treatment of health problems.

It placed 30th out of 122 countries in the Hologic Global Women’s Health Index published on Tuesday, scoring just 60 out of 100 - three points lower than last year.

The score was on par with Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Kosovo and Poland, with the global average being even lower at just 53 out of 100.

It previously ranked better than countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, the US, France and New Zealand.

Taiwan was top this year, scoring 70, and Afghanistan bottom with 22.

The index is based on a survey of more than 127,000 people worldwide.

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Women now wait nearly four months on average for a first hospital appointment with a gynaecologist.

But almost 40,000 women in England have been on the waiting list for over a year.

For mental health support, the country's score fell eight points to 68 out of 100. As for cancer and diabetes screenings, the UK scored just 23 out of 100.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "We have put women’s health at the top of the agenda by publishing the Women’s Health Strategy for England, appointing the first-ever Women’s Health Ambassador, and taking action to increase supply and reduce the cost of hormone replacement therapy.

"The strategy sets out our 10-year ambitions for boosting the health and wellbeing of women and girls, and for improving how the health and care system listens to all women.”