“Even with all the things I do know, I’m still feeling like I should allow them to do their job,” she says. “I can’t imagine [what it’s like for] a lady who doesn’t have my medical education. How do you navigate the system?”
It’s time to do higher
Norris wants the health care system to do higher by women. An enormous piece of that’s research into women’s pain — but there are also every kind of structural explanation why it could be harder to get that information.
She was recently shadowing staff in a clinic at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, doing research into women who had had hypertension while pregnant. Numerous women indicated that they were thinking about being a part of the study, but then didn’t show up.
“While I used to be there, the phone rang and it was the lady who was purported to be there for the study, who said leaving because she couldn’t find parking,” Norris says. “You might hear the infant screaming at the back of the automotive.”
The issue was immediately clear to Norris: most latest mothers are primary caregivers, which suggests that it becomes difficult for them to do absolutely anything without childcare.
“I believed, ‘Because of this women don’t participate,’” she says. “We want to make sure that we’re meeting people’s needs before we, as researchers, just say, ‘Well, I did a clinical trial and girls didn’t show up.’ That’s not ok anymore.”
Health care disparities don’t just affect women
Women, after all, aren’t the one people who are suffering from disparities within the health care system.
released by Health Canada found that folks with less income and fewer education face far less positive health outcomes. Recent immigrants and Black Canadians
, meaning they receive less and lower-quality health care. And Indigenous people have lower health outcomes across nearly all metrics, including mental health. Nearly all trans Canadians —
— reported unmet health care needs.