Government of Canada strengthens access to sexual and reproductive services for people living with Endometriosis
September 26, 2023 | Ottawa, ON | Health Canada
Endometriosis is a serious, chronic disease associated with severe pain, especially during menstrual periods and can reduce a person’s ability to get pregnant. People who have endometriosis symptoms can experience significant diagnostic delays and delays in accessing care, due to limited awareness and because its symptoms often mimic other conditions. Every Canadian, no matter their medical conditions, should have access to safe and efficient sexual and reproductive health services.
That is why today, Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto—Danforth and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Mark Holland, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced more than $1.6 million in funding to The Endometriosis Network Canada and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) to improve awareness of endometriosis, access to vital Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services and reduce barriers to care by developing resources for people living with endometriosis and health care providers.
These projects are funded through Health Canada’s SRH Fund, which was established through Budget 2021 with an initial investment of $45 million to improve access to SRH care for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access, with an additional commitment of $36 million through Budget 2023. Our government will continue the work to ensure that access to health services are accessible, equitable and affordable for all Canadians.
“Endometriosis is a serious condition that not just physically impacts people – it has mental health and economic impacts as well. That is why we need to continue to remove the barriers people face when trying to access sexual and reproductive health services. Our government is proud to be supporting organizations like The Endometriosis Network Canada and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, which are doing such important work to remove barriers and improve access to these services across Canada, where and when they are needed.”
The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
"Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue like the endometrium abnormally implants outside of the uterus causing lesions, cysts and other growths typically in the pelvic cavity. These growths can cause severe pain and affect fertility. The new Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund will help bring awareness to this disease by spreading awareness, developing patient resources and supports for health care providers."
Member of Parliament for Toronto—Danforth and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
"Endometriosis is such a difficult and devastating condition for so many Canadians and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) is pleased to be able to play a leadership role to ensure that our patients have the best treatment and the best outcomes possible. With support from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund, the SOGC will be able to work with our health care providers to develop evidence- based clinical guidance and patient resources to increase Canada’s capacity to diagnosis and to treat endometriosis.”
Dr Diane Francoeur
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
“At The Endometriosis Network Canada, we firmly believe that every person with endometriosis in Canada deserves access to timely diagnosis and management of their disease. Too many people wait years to be diagnosed, and this delay negatively impacts every aspect of life, including physical, emotional, social and financial well-being. We are honoured to receive funding from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund to address this critical issue through a pan-Canadian campaign to raise public awareness, curriculum enrichment materials, and evidence-based resources for people living with endometriosis.”
Katie Luciani (She/Her)
The Endometriosis Network Canada
Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissues similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grow outside of the uterus. It affects approximately 1 in 10 girls and women of reproductive age, and an unmeasured number of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals who have uteruses. In addition to affecting the reproductive system, it can affect other organ systems through out the body. It is associated with severe pain, especially during menstrual periods. Pain can also occur during sex, bowel movements or urination. Other symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, heavy bleeding during periods or between periods, infertility, bloating or nausea, and fatigue. The chronic pain associated with endometriosis can impact people’s quality of life, which can in turn have negative impacts on mental health.
Budget 2021 committed $45 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to improve access to SRH care support, information, and services for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access.
Budget 2023 provided an additional $36 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Health Canada to renew the SRH Fund.
To date, twenty-three projects have been funded. Of these projects, four address access to abortion, seven address the SRH needs of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and four focus on Indigenous communities, including Indigenous youth and Two Spirit people. Two projects focus on racialized people or newcomers, two more address youth from a range of populations, and four more address additional priorities. In addition, funding has been allocated to the province of Québec to support community-based organizations located in the province.
The SRH Fund was created to support a wide range of evidence-informed and innovative projects for people in Canada who are at increased risk for poorer SRH outcomes, including members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, Indigenous and racialized people, women, and youth.
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
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