LABOR WILL ESTABLISH LGBTIQ HEALTH CLINIC IN NORTHCOTE

22 February 2018

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

THE HON CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE

MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

GED KEARNEY

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BATMAN

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people in Northern Melbourne will have improved access to health care specific to their needs, with a Shorten Labor Government investing $2 million in a new LGBTIQ health clinic as part of a redeveloped Your Community Health Centre in Northcote.

LGBTIQ people have health needs that cannot always be met in mainstream health services - which are not tailored to LGBTIQ needs and where LGBTIQ people can face discrimination.

Evidence shows that a lack of knowledge of LGBTIQ health issues in mainstream services is a significant barrier to LGBTIQ people accessing health care. One study found that half of all transgender people felt they had to educate their health care provider before they could receive treatment.

The need for LGBTIQ-specific services in northern Melbourne was highlighted by the recent marriage equality debate. Malcolm Turnbull’s divisive survey caused huge distress for many local people, with no locally based LGBTIQ services able to provide tailored support.

That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will invest $2 million to open a safe and inclusive LGBTIQ health clinic in Northcote. The clinic will provide world-class health care for LGBTI people by co-locating a range of tailored health services – including GPs, nursing and allied health staff.

The clinic will also become a LGBTIQ hub by co-locating other services such as social services and working with other local providers to coordinate support for LGBTIQ people. The clinic will be developed in consultation with LGBTIQ groups and the local community to ensure its services are best tailored to LGBTIQ needs.

Labor’s commitment will also fund the redevelopment of the existing Your Community Health centre at Northcote, where the new clinic will be located.  

Your Community Health has provided health and wellbeing services to northern Melbourne for over 40 years, but its Northcote clinic is sorely in need of redevelopment to ensure it is accessible to all members of the community.

Labor’s commitment builds on our record on LGBTIQ health, including an investment of $53 million to make HIV history. This will restore the capacity that the Liberals have cut from HIV peak organisations and target ‘hidden populations’ who fall outside the traditional HIV response.

Labor has also called on the Government to list the game-changing HIV medicine PrEP on the PBS urgently, following the recommendation from independent experts that it do so.

Labor delivered Medicare, and we continue to fight to ensure all Australians can access the healthcare they need