glhvThe unreliable rainbow sticker has now been replaced with a “world-first” national Rainbow Tick system to guarantee certain health services in Australia provide LGBTI-friendly care.

Health and human services from local GPs to hospitals can apply for the rainbow tick accreditation that will be audited by one of Australia’s leading health service accreditation bodies, Quality Innovation Performance.

LGBTI rights advocates and health professionals alike are welcoming the new official standard which will ensure those who get the tick will know how to approach LGBTI issues the right way.

It has six standards that health services must meet, such as having LGBTI needs represented in policy and relevant forms changed to include gender diversity and intersex status.

Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria worked with partners to create the standards that were launched last Friday at the Health in Difference conference in Melbourne.

GLHV director Liam Leonard said the rainbow tick was the first of its nature in the world.

“For an agency to meet them they have to meet formal processes of accreditation, not another gay agency saying there is a gay doctor, they have to go through rigorous process and that’s a first in the world,” he said.

“It’s not just putting posters in your waiting room, it’s changing all your intake forms, it’s having a risk register for LGBTI clients, it’s professional development.”

He said there were two ways that organisations would benefit from the new system. Firstly, health agencies want to show they can cater for community diversity.

“The second thing is there is so much going on in the LGBTI space at the moment that I think there’s just a pay-off for organisations to show that they are engaging with that.”

The City of Stonnington and Grampians Community Health each received the rainbow tick at the launch for years of work in the area.

Penny Pavlou, aged services manager at the City of Stonnington, told the Star Observer they were very proud and excited for the recognition.

“It will give us the opportunity to be able to let the community know  we’ve received this accreditation and people from GLBTI communities will feel comfortable and safe in terms of accessing our aged services,” she said.

“I think all agency service providers should consider looking at the rainbow tick, it is a process that is fun and exciting but is also a lot of hard work and I would recommend it.”

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