Darwin’s only specialised LGBTI clinic fears it may close down due to lack of funding.
Dr Danielle Stewart runs the monthly clinic, which sees 90 per cent trans and gender diverse patients. She started the service last year in response to a lack of knowledge of LGBTI issues in the Northern Territory.
She said many people in Darwin had been “self-treating” and “patching together” their own health care prior to the clinic starting.
The clinic is self-funded, with the practice covering travel costs for visiting interstate specialists.
“We’re running at a loss to be honest,” said Dr Stewart.
“We’ve shown that this clinic is worthwhile. To make it sustainable, we need to find some money.”
NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the government will collect data on the gender diverse population, and would not make funding decisions until after the data is analysed.
“We have to remember that we’re a relatively small population and isolated,” said Fyles.
“So it’s a real balance between providing these services and making sure health outcomes are equally met.”
General practice services are funded by the federal government, which recently announced cuts to the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council’s programs.