House Concurrent Resolution No. 18



Whereas, the Missouri General Assembly supports the development of a Women's Health Platform that recognizes the serious inequities in the health prevention and treatment of women, and the necessity to eliminate these inequities to improve the health status of women in the state of Missouri; and

Whereas, state government can increase its support for women's health and can make a significant difference in improving the status of women's health; and

Whereas, women are metobolically, hormonally and physiologically different from men and have different patterns of health and disease, with some diseases occurring more commonly in women than in men; and

Whereas, women are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, with more than one in five women having some form of cardiovascular disease and one in two women experiencing an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime; and

Whereas, women are three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and two to three times more likely to suffer from depression; and

Whereas, women are less often referred for diagnostic testing and less often treated for heart disease as compared to men; and

Whereas, women, if they are smokers, are twenty to seventy percent more likely to develop lung cancer and ten times more likely than men to contract HIV during unprotected sex; and

Whereas, women are much more likely to provide health care to family members and make health care decisions, and spend two of every three health care dollars; and

Whereas, abundant evidence exists that women are under-treated compared to men and are under-represented in women's health studies; and

Whereas, while women's health care issues have received some national attention and access issues have produced some legislative activity by the United States Congress, there remains little change in vitally important preventive care and treatment issues; and

Whereas, in a recent survey of voters, eighty percent of women and sixty percent of men favored a Women's Health Care Platform that supports relevant care, relevant research and relevant education for women; and

Whereas, nine out of ten men and women agree that women have the right to access quality treatment and access to the latest technologies and appropriate diagnostic tests:

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby encourage every state agency and state-chartered institution of learning or recipient of state grants or funding to take appropriate action to achieve improved and equal access for women to quality health care, including:

1. Providing women equal access to quality health care, including state-of-the-art medical advances and technology;

2. Increasing the number of women covered by comprehensive health care insurance, including primary and preventive health care, for all women;

3. Preventing serious health problems by timely diagnosis and treatment programs;

4. Promoting strategies to increase patient access to recommended diagnostic and screening tests, preventive health regimens and recommended treatments;

5. Encouraging unimpeded access to women's specialty health providers;

6. Creating and promoting public and private partnerships to create programs designed to improve the scope and quality of women's health care;

7. Improving communications between providers and patients;

8. Continuing to expand participation of women in clinical trials;

9. Increasing government and private research on women's health issues and the differences between men and women and how they impact quality health care;

10. Conducting more health outcomes research to demonstrate the value of women's health care interventions and preventive health measures in both the long and short term;

11. Expanding medical and nursing school curricula in the area of women's health and educating about gender biology;

12. Supporting public education campaigns to increase women's awareness about their unique health risks, how to negotiate the complexities of today's health care system, and how to demand and obtain the best care available;

13. Conducting public health campaigns via state and local departments of public health with private sector partners to focus on key women's preventive health issues;

14. Assisting the Office of Women's Health within state government to raise awareness of women's special health care needs and advocate initiatives to address them;

15. Fostering development and dissemination of publicly available information on the quality of health care and health outcomes that improve women's ability to choose the best women's health care plan; and

16. Expanding state screening programs targeted at lower-income women to include a full range of known risks; and

Be it further resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby commend the Women In Government organization for its leadership and enterprise in bringing to Missouri the appropriate urgency of need and meaningful steps that can be taken to attain the improved and equal access for women to quality health care, technologies and treatments, education of researchers about gender differences, and unimpeded access to women's health providers; and

Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for every state agency, state-chartered institution of learning and recipient of state grants or funding related to health care.

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