It is essential for women in the US to have access to affordable, comprehensive, nondiscriminatory public or private health coverage that includes evidence-based care over the course of their lifespans, according to a new position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP). Recommendations and positions offered by ACP were based on reviewed literature and include the following:
- ACP believes that internists are well-suited to provide high-quality women’s health care and that clinicians in all specialties and fields, including internal medicine, who care for women should receive appropriate training in health issues of particular relevance to the population of women seen in their practice setting.
- ACP believes that it is essential for women in the US to have access to affordable, comprehensive, nondiscriminatory public or private health coverage that includes evidence-based care over the course of their lifespans.
- ACP believes in respect for the principle of patient autonomy on matters affecting patients' individual health and reproductive decision-making rights, including about types of contraceptive methods they use and whether or not to continue a pregnancy as defined by existing constitutional law.
- ACP opposes legislation or regulations that limit access to comprehensive reproductive health care by putting medically unnecessary restrictions on health care professionals or facilities.
- ACP supports the goal of universal access to family and medical leave policies that provide a minimum period of 6 weeks' paid leave and calls for legislative or regulatory action at the federal, state, or local level to advance this goal.
- ACP supports increased availability of effective screening tools for physicians or health care professionals treating survivors of intimate partner or sexual violence.
- ACP supports efforts to improve the representation of women's health in clinical research and close knowledge gaps related to specific women's health issues.
Daniel H, Erickson SM, Bornstein SS, for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians. Women's health policy in the United States: An American College of Physicians position paper. [Published online ahead of print May 29, 2018]. Ann Intern Med. doi:10.7326/M17-3344.
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