Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming Healthcare Discrimination (Research, Video 2:47)

Diversity in healthcare continues to be an issue that must be addressed seriously to achieve equality among all groups. Unfortunately, too many people still experience negative and discriminatory treatment in their efforts to receive quality healthcare. Among them are those who are transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC). Transgender refers to the state of one's gender identity or gender expression not matching one's assigned sex. Transgender is independent of sexual orientation. Gender nonconformity, is behavior or gender expression by an individual that does not match masculine and feminine gender norms. These groups are recognized by the American Medical Association.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey was used in research focused on anti-transgender and GNC discrimination, harassment, and victimization within healthcare settings. The influences of insurance status, level of passing, time of transition, and other socio-demographic factors were considered. Results indicated more than one fifth of transgender and GNC individuals of all ages reported healthcare discrimination, harassment, or victimization. Services related to these groups are often considered to be cosmetic when they are not. Clearly, more cultural competency training, implementation, and monitoring related to transgender and GNC individuals are greatly needed.

In this video, Dr. Leigh Dolin, former president of the Oregon Medical Association, explains problems he has encountered in providing care to these groups such as denial of payment by insurance companies. More recently, Oregon and a few other states have started covering the cost of reassignment surgery through Medicaid for transgender people, but many other problems still need to be solved.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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