Specialist clinics will be established across Ireland as part of the HSE’s new approach to delivering care to women experiencing menopause.
The first clinic will be a dedicated unit located in the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Dublin.
The clinic is scheduled to open this year, and will be supported by GPs with a certified special interest in the area of menopause and clinical nurse/midwife specialists, according to the Department of Health.
The clinic will accept GP referrals from the catchment area surrounding the National Maternity Hospital.
GPs working in the clinic will have access to “escalation pathways” for women who require additional investigations, including management from other healthcare professionals including consultant gynaecologists, ultrasonographers and pelvic floor specialists.
The team will also provide advice to GPs in the community. Additional regional clinics are due to be developed in 2022.
The establishment of menopause clinics was recommended by the Women’s Health Taskforce, and funding of €157,000 will be provided through the Women’s Health Fund.
Approximately 25 per cent of menopausal women will require specialist medical expertise to manage their symptoms.
The Women’s Health Taskforce is in the process of developing an overall plan for women’s health, which will be brought to Government and published later this year.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said: “I am making menopause a priority within our women’s health programme and I am proud to announce my commitment to fund this first dedicated specialist menopause clinic within public health system this year.”
Dr Peter McKenna, Clinical Director of the National Women and Infants Health Programme in the HSE, said: “Once operational, this clinic will significantly increase the support available to women going through the menopause.
“It will deliver benefits to primary care practitioners as women’s main health partners through the menopause in terms of providing guidance and advice to them, and will provide specialist support for a number of women who require additional care, thereby helping to look after women throughout their lifecourse.”
The National Women’s Council of Ireland said: “The establishment of dedicated menopause clinics is a very welcome measure in recognising and addressing women’s health needs and advances our health services towards the development of a comprehensive model of reproductive healthcare in Ireland.”