LGBTQ+ INCLUSIVITY IN HEALTH CARE
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It is apparent that LGBTQ+ population is more exposed to health inequities, stigma and discrimination in our society. Due to negative societal association and stereotypes, the LGBTQ+ community tends to have a higher probability of experiencing stressful events throughout their lives. They tend to experience more of physical and emotional harassment in their workplaces or rejection within relationships that may lead to high levels of stress and withdraw themselves from societies (Garbers et al, 2018). LGBTQ+ members may also conceal their personal identities, lack of social support and do not seek any assistance for coping mechanisms. Providers know that, in general, LGBTQ+ patients avoid health care and that there is an association between LGBTQ and suicide, but their knowledge base often fails to account for precise details such as breast cancer risk, anal cancer screening, gender reassignment surgery availability, and rates of domestic violence, depression and anxiety, and obesity (Nowaskie & Sowinski, 2018).
We will encourage Minister Christine Elliott to discourage viewing LGBTQ+ health through a narrow lens and work on more inclusive public health programs. Since these individuals are more vulnerable to the effects of social isolation, poverty and discrimination it is essential for The Ministry of Health to provide physical, emotional and mental support for this community. Raising awareness and introducing mandatory workshops for health providers on common LGBTQ health disparities such as, substance abuse, certain cancers, body image, screening procedures and STI’s (Institute of Medicine, 2011), can help move the healthcare system step in the right direction in terms of conscious LGBTQ care.
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