Health workers in Scotland will apply the same treatment guidelines for women suffering from painful endometriosis as those in place south of the border.
Public health minister Joe Fitzpatrick has confirmed that the recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidance on dealing with the condition is “applicable in Scotland too”.
In a letter to Labour MSP Monica Lennon, the convener of Holyrood’s cross party group on women’s health, the minister stressed the Scottish Government is “committed to ensuring everyone with endometriosis is able to access the best possible care and support”.
The condition is caused by tissue similar to the lining of the womb growing in places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Ms Lennon, who also serves as the Labour health spokeswoman, said: “The application of the Nice guideline on endometriosis in Scotland will make a massive difference to women with this condition.
“I look forward to working with MSPs and the Scottish Government on the implementation of the guidelines so that women in Scotland start to experience a quicker and more effective journey to diagnosis, treatment and support.”
She added: “Endometriosis is a relatively common condition affecting 1 in 10 women, yet many women report challenges in getting a diagnosis and effective treatment.
“The average time taken to diagnosis is 7.5 years and women who attended our event in parliament had waited even longer – one women said her diagnosis had taken 13 years.”
Campaigners at Endometriosis UK also welcomed the confirmation, with chief executive Emma Cox stating: “Women with endometriosis, regardless of location, deserve the best access to treatment and we are delighted that the Scottish Government has taken the first step to make sure this happens.
“If implemented correctly, the Nice guidelines would ensure women receive quicker diagnosis and those with complex endometriosis have access to specialist centres.”