In the Media

Disabled missing out on health checks

Elisa Black | Adelaide Advertiser

SOUTH Australian women with disabilities are missing out on lifesaving health checks like Pap smears and mammograms, says Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent.

She says it is because clinics are not set up to properly care for different needs and doctors incorrectly assume having a disability means women are not sexually active.

Sarah, 39, who wishes to use a pseudonym, has never had a successful Pap smear because her condition – osteogenesis imperfecta – is more complicated to accommodate. Even a visit to a gynaecologist at a dedicated sexual health clinic wasn’t successful. She feels doctors brush off her concerns because they assume she isn’t sexually active, despite being married twice and a previous pregnancy.

Ms Vincent said women with disabilities needed access to better services. “Women with disabilities are often forgotten when it comes to sexual rights and reproductive health education and programs need to be designed that include all disabled women,” she said.