Australia is set to elect a new government in May 2022. The country’s peak national LGBTQI health organisation, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA), has called upon the major political parties and independent candidates to spell out their commitment and plans to improve the health and well being of the community. 

“LGBTIQ+ communities face significant barriers to improved health because of stigma and discrimination,” Nicky Bath, CEO, LHA, said in a statement. 

LGBTQI Community’s  Health And Well Being Sidelined

“All members of LGBTIQ+ communities, including those who live at the intersections of additional marginalised identities and experiences, can no longer be left behind. Current systems are failing our communities, and these disparities will not only remain, but they will also deteriorate if LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing continue to be sidelined in policy and service and program planning,” Bath said.

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“It is important that the future Government act quickly and commit to fundamental change that includes LGBTIQ+ people and communities in national structures and systems.”

LHA’s 2022 Election Priorities has sought a commitment to a 10-year National LGBTIQ+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan, with a dedicated office under the Department of health to monitor the plan’s implementation. 

LGBTQI Community’s Health Priorities

LHA has identified other priorities for the community, including: 

  • Count LGBTQI people and communities in data collection for health planning, especially at the next national Census.
  • Invest in LGBTQI community-controlled health and wellbeing organisations.
  • Prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ communities.
  • Protect the human rights of people with innate variations in sex characteristics.
  • Ensure the rights and needs of LGBTIQ+ people in the next national plan to prevent all forms of family, domestic and sexual violence.
  • Deliver gender-affirming care in the public health system.
  • Provide equality and opportunity for LGBTIQ+ people with disability.
  • Ensure safe and culturally appropriate aged care services.

LHA has asked political parties to set aside their differences and build a consensus to advance the health priorities of the LGBTQI communities. According to LHA, it is possible to “change the current trajectory of poorer health outcomes and instead, for example, reduce suicide, improve mental health, address alcohol and other drug use, tackle cancer and ensure investment is targeted to build a strong and responsive LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing sector.”

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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