Doctors too often "ignore" women's pain, Sajid Javid said as he called for change in the wake of the Shrewsbury maternity scandal.
Writing for The Telegraph, the Health Secretary said the wider NHS needed to do much more to listen to women, adding that too many are left in pain and ignored by clinicians.
On Wednesday, the Ockenden report revealed that the deaths of 201 babies and nine mothers at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust could have been avoided, citing a failure to listen to women.
Mr Javid wrote: "This week we have seen the tragic reality of what can happen when women's voices are not listened to when it comes to their care.
"Donna Ockenden's report into maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals raises specific concerns for maternity services, but more widely we must address issues across the whole of the health and care system when it comes to listening to women's concerns and recognising their pain."
In the joint piece with Maria Caulfield, the minister for women’s health, Mr Javid welcomed a "shift in the way we talk about women's health", with more open discussions about areas once seen as taboo.
But the pair said more needed to be done – specifically to improve the treatment of endometriosis, an extremely painful gynaecological condition.
"We must ensure all women feel confident in going to their GP when they experience symptoms of endometriosis and, when they do, that they are listened to," they said. Too many were "spending too long in pain waiting for a diagnosis, often feeling ignored by clinicians", they warned.
Later this year the Government will publish a women's health strategy, which will examine issues including fertility, menopause, and prevention and treatment of diseases.
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Source: The Telegraph, 31 March 2022