Emma Roddick, SNP Highlands and Islands MSP, has spoken about the ‘deep rooted’ lack of understanding about women’s health problems.
The MSP who was newly elected at the May Scottish Parliament elections will be on her first official trip to Orkney this weekend where she will attend Pride events in Kirkwall.
Speaking in a parliamentary debate on the Scottish Government’s Women’s Health Plan Emma Roddick said:
“We have to recognise and admit that one of the reasons it takes so long to get a diagnosis of endometriosis is that those who seek help with their periods are dismissed. We are accused of exaggerating pain; of it being because we are a size 14 instead of a size 8; and – especially if we also have mental health issues – of being essentially hysterical, with doctors suggesting it’s all in our heads.
“It’s not just that there is a long assessment period or a lack of research and available treatment, but that we are sent home from the GP again and again with a wave of the hand and a pack of paracetamol.
“I am committed to working with the Government to make life better for those who suffer these issues, but we must begin from a point of understanding just how bad the situation is and that, for many, periods don’t just bring a cramp or an annoyance, they bring a debilitating, excruciating pain which prohibits mobility and may even require hospitalisation.”
Emma Roddick welcomed the commitment by the Scottish Government to reduce waiting times for diagnosing the condition, which affects an estimated one in ten women during the years they menstruate. Of these, around 500 women in Scotland have endometriosis severe enough to require specialist treatment.
When visiting Orkney this weekend Emma Roddick will meet with the council, Orkney Rape and Sexual Assault Service and mental health charity Orkney Blide Trust. She will also be viewing properties under construction with Orkney Housing Association.
Commenting on her upcoming visit Emma Roddick said:
“People in island communities have suffered badly from unavoidable Covid restrictions. Now that we’re moving into recovery, it’s vital that MSPs stay in touch with what’s happening on the ground, so we can advise the Scottish Government on what’s needed here.
“People should be able to afford to stay where they have grown up, especially in the Highlands and Islands. It’s absolutely central to the concern about depopulation in the region.
“I’m thrilled to be participating in Orkney Pride.” She added that she is “especially looking forward to seeing the various window displays showcased by local businesses.”