LGBTIQ+ Health Australia have welcomed the federal government’s commitment to a 10-year national Action Plan for LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing, alongside the creation of an LGBTIQ+ Health Advisory Group and $26 million for health research.
‘This Action Plan will save lives. It is a crucial advance in addressing the serious inequities LGBTIQ+ people experience in health outcomes,’ said LHA Chief Executive Officer Nicky Bath.
Despite growing visibility, LGBTIQ+ people have poorer health outcomes than the broader community, particularly in regard to mental health and suicide, some cancers, and alcohol and other drugs use. LGBTIQ+ people are less likely to access health services due to experiences of stigma and discrimination.
For LGBTIQ+ people who are also part of other marginalised groups, these health inequities can be compounded by racism, ageism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination.
Blueprint for change
‘A 10-year plan developed with input from an LGBTIQ+ Health Advisory Group will give government a blueprint for change. It is a foundation for improved policies, interventions and approaches to achieve equitable health and wellbeing outcomes,’ said Ms Bath.
‘Although LGBTIQ+ people have been identified as a priority population in many national strategies, for many years the disparities in health and wellbeing outcomes have persisted or worsened.
‘New research funding is an essential component of the government’s announcement,’ said the LHA CEO. ‘Current data collection does not accurately or adequately count LGBTIQ+ people and communities.
‘Without adequate data and research, LGBTIQ+ communities are left out of health policy and program planning. This investment will help build adequate and effective research to guide public health policy and the Action Plan.’
‘LHA calls for this new investment to deliver much needed funds for the key LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing research initiatives Writing Themselves In and Private Lives, which provide essential insight into ways government can improve access to services free from discrimination and stigma,’ continued Ms Bath.
‘Ahead of the 2022 federal election, LHA called on the major parties to commit to a 10-year National LGBTIQ+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan,’ she said.
‘We are excited that the new Labor Government is providing vital leadership to deliver this plan for action and change and we look forward to working in partnership with the government to deliver better health and wellbeing for all LGBTIQ+ Australians.’
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia is the peak national organisation working to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people and communities. Its membership spans across all Australian states and territories.