Gender stereotypes and socioeconomic inequalities continue to impact on access use of preventative and curative health services. For example, while the EU has done work to increase the access of girls and women living outside the EU to sexual and reproductive health services, there has been limited action to promote access to such services within the EU. To date, important unmet mental health needs of women and men persist, and access to sexual and reproductive health services varies greatly between the Member States.

Looking broadly at medical research, this area has historically shown limited gender sensitivity. An important step forward in this respect is the Clinical Trials Regulation of the European Commission (2014), which requires the consideration of gender in clinical trials, even though this has yet to be implemented. It should help address concerns about drugs being mainly tested on men, and thus possibly ignoring adverse side effects that are more common among or exclusive to women.