England

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BMA calls for end to period poverty

The British Medical Association has today called for free sanitary products to be provided to help end period poverty.

A motion was passed at its Annual Representative Meeting today (Tuesday) which called for sanitary products to be available for in-patients in hospitals, as well as calling for the government to provide them more widely for free.

A scheme has been launched in Scotland where women from low-income homes will be offered free sanitary products.

Commenting, Mita Dhullipala, BMA medical students committee co-chair, said:

“It would be convenient if you could plan your period around your life, and around your treatment, but sadly this isn’t the case. Having sanitary products easily available in hospitals would save patients the embarrassment of being caught out at a time that is already stressful enough.

“Period supplies are essential but they can be expensive. It is unacceptable that there are still people who cannot access them, usually those who are vulnerable or on low incomes.  Many resort to using toilet paper, scraps of fabric, or sometimes nothing at all.  Period poverty can be stopped by making sure these products are available to those who can't afford them.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. The full wording of the motion is as below:

That this meeting recognises that reliable access to sanitary products is essential for the health and wellbeing of the menstruating population, and that the current system for distribution can leave those most vulnerable with no option other than to go without. We therefore call on the BMA to:

  1. ensure all in-patients have access to sanitary products for the duration of their stay;
  2. ii) lobby the government to implement the free provision of sanitary products.

For further information please contact:

British Medical Association, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
Telephone: 020 7383 6448 
Email: [email protected]
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