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Healthcare and the LGBTQ community

Hi everyone! This is the second article in our Pride series! This article covers healthcare rights, as well as issues within the health sector for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Happy Reading!

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Healthcare is a basic human right. From getting mildly sick to diseases such as cancer, healthcare is the most valuable industry to save lives. Healthcare industries strive for healthiness and equality for everyone, but this equality seems to fade when it relates to the LGBTQ community.



In the United States, 5.6% of adults classify themselves as LGBTQ. Though this may seem like a small percentage, the LGBTQ community deserves accessibility and comfort from healthcare providers. The amount of convenience in treatment towards cis/straight people is quite different than of the LGBTQ community. Treatment options, and even accessibility in the forms of insurance, medical instruments, etc. differ greatly between the two.



For instance, if a transgender woman wishes to get sex reassignment surgery, there are many complications regarding comfort, costs of insurance coverage, gender-conforming treatments, and more. Moreover, concerns regarding discrimination and invalidation of identity are far more common for transgender individuals compared to cis/straight individuals. Healthcare industries seem to be more accepting of cisgender individuals compared to transgender individuals regarding their identity. A study regarding the mistreatment of transgender individuals in a healthcare provider’s office showed that 29% of them got refused of treatment due to their gender identity and 12% of them were refused due to gender transition.


This shows how lacking the healthcare industry can be when giving accessibility and comfort to the LGBTQ community. Even if the treatment requirement may remain the same for everyone, LGBTQ individuals get treated differently due to their sexual identity and interests. Now is the time for the healthcare industry to start spreading the idea of embracing one’s own identity and ensuring equality for all types of people.



How can the healthcare industry make a change?

The healthcare industry can start with making the LGBTQ community more comfortable in their hospitals, clinics etc. Many individuals who are part of the LGBTQ community do not feel comfortable in their local hospitals due to the likeliness of discrimination, critiques regarding self-identity, sexual interests, and also rejection of service from doctors. This makes it very hard for individuals who are a part of the LGBTQ community to be open about themselves and their bodies.



Additionally, more insurance options for LGTBQ-specific treatments and surgeries are vital to ensure equality in the healthcare system. Compared to cis/straight individuals, transgender individuals specifically have to deal with expensive costs due to the lack of insurance options.


In short, the healthcare industry needs to be more mindful of the LGBTQ community just the way they are with cis/straight individuals. It is important to make everyone feel safe in a place where human rights are advocated. We must recognize this inequality and help members of the LGBTQ community feel safe in these spaces.



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Thanks for reading the second article in our Pride series! We hope you learned about different healthcare issues that are being faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the steps that the health care sector needs to take to become more inclusive.


If you enjoyed reading this article, then please check out our article on Mental Health issues in the LGBTQ+ community, linked here. This article discusses different mental health issues members of the LGBTQ+ community can face, as well as steps for companies to take to become more inclusive.


See you next time,

Mahee and the Writing Committee :)


References:


Macapagal, K., Bhatia, R., & Greene, G. J. (2016, December). Differences in healthcare access, use, and experiences within a community sample of racially diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning emerging adults. LGBT health. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5165667/

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Home - books - NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books

Adviser, C. S. S., Seeberger, C., Adviser, S., Manager, T. W. S. M., Woodcome, T., Manager, S. M., Shepherd Director, M., Shepherd, M., Director, Director, J. P. S., Parshall, J., Director, S., Gruberg, S., Baker, K., Ross, K., Pathak, A., Olinsky, B., & Ndumele, N. L. (2019, July 19). Discrimination prevents LGBTQ people from accessing health care. Center for American Progress. Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://www.americanprogress.org/article/discrimination-prevents-lgbtq-people-accessing-health-care/





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