KHSC gynecologist joins new national advisory committee

News / Women’s Health
By Christine Maloney

Dr. Waddington is among the prominent physicians, researchers, and patient advocates selected to collaborate towards optimal health outcomes for women

On May 16, Dr. Ashley Waddington, a gynecologist at Kingston Health Sciences Centre who specializes in contraception and transgender health care, joined the eight other committee members and the chair of Health Canada’s new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women for their first meeting in Ottawa.

A news release issued by the government of Canada stated that the committee “will provide Health Canada with timely advice on current and emerging issues regarding women’s health and the regulation of medical devices and drugs.”

Dr. Waddington explains that she was interested in being a part of the committee because of her observation that there are fewer types of contraceptive methods available in Canada compared to other countries.

“There are many factors that can influence someone’s family planning choices: cost, convenience, risk tolerance and preference, to name a few,” says Dr. Waddington. “That’s why it is important to ensure Canadians have access to a wide range of safe contraceptive options to meet their needs.”

Often, a woman will walk into Dr. Waddington’s office having already identified options she wants to explore. “The challenge,” she says, “is when some of those options are not available in Canada.” For example, contraceptive implants in the upper arm that release hormone progestin into the bloodstream are often requested, but aren’t currently available in Canada.

As a member of this new committee, Dr. Waddington is also hoping to better represent her transgender patients, who she says are not well represented in areas such as clinical evidence related to hormonal therapy and implants.

“I am extremely grateful to all of the members of our new Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products for Women who have stepped forward to lend their knowledge and experience to improving the health and lives of women in Canada,” said federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor in a news release. “I look forward to the advice they will provide to help shape future public policy for Canadian women.”

Dr. Waddington was among 80 nominees interested in offering their expertise in the field of women’s health. The chair and nine core committee members chosen come from across Canada and represent a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise.