Barriers to access to health for the LGBTIQA+ population: a debt from medicine

Gender diversities have historically been segregated and discriminated against solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.
This is not alien to the medical field and, unfortunately, in health spaces this segregation and discrimination, biases and even ill-treatment that deeply damage LGBTIQA+ people and end up distancing them from the health system has also been seen, which can have serious consequences, by postponing controls or delaying diagnoses of different pathologies.
This makes it essential that public policies are generated that seek to alleviate this situation and that as health professionals we are agents of change. Therefore, as a Medical College, we are committed to this cause. We seek a more inclusive country, which welcomes diversities and respects the identity of all, all and all, generating safe spaces in the fields of medical practice.
Under this imperative we have carried out various actions as the Department of Gender and Health of Colmed, from trainings, with a successful course of concepts in LGBTIQA + health and its respective manual, to deliver tools to health professionals to be more inclusive and respectful, and correct so many mistakes that are often committed unconsciously, by the social weight of the heteronorm; the creation of a list of friendly LGBTIQA+ professionals, in conjunction with the lesbian magazine; and, recently, the implementation of an affirmative health operation for the LGBTIQA+ population, in the context of Pride Month.
This last activity was carried out with the important sponsorship and collaboration of the Subdirectorate of Equality of the Municipality of Santiago, in the person of the mayor Irací Hassler, who offered all her support and facilitated the physical space for the realization of the operation. Attention was given in the specialties of Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Infectology, Mental Health and Gynecology, among others, several of which are in clear deficit in public health care. The attention was provided by more than 20 professionals, who came as volunteers to the call of our department, from civil society groups as important as Gynecologists Chile, Intersexual Chile and AHF Chile, which contributed with the free collection of rapid tests for VIHs.
The people treated in the operation expressed their enthusiasm and good reception for the initiative and stressed the importance of being attended by trained professionals, who asked them how they wanted to be treated, making them feel comfortable – many for the first time – in health care.
The challenge is not simple: to be able to replicate this safe space in every health center, in every care throughout the country. To do this, we need the commitment of those who work in health to train, update and generate changes in the treatment that stop distancing LGBTIQA + people from health. As the Department of Gender and Health, we will continue to generate instances that allow us to move in this direction and make them available to anyone who wants to join in this task of building a more inclusive health with a gender focus.

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Original source in Spanish

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