Almost there: Equal healthcare for LGBTQI+

lgbti health

(Analuisa Gamboa, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Dr. Rujvee P. Patel, a recent medical graduate from India, passionate about Human Rights and Health. IFMSA delegate at the United Nations 62nd Commission on Statusof Women. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

‘It is better than before’ is what a few transgender patients said, about the quality of service attitude of healthcare providers over past few years. While there still persist stigma and taboos in numerous social set ups around the globe and the world is still not extensively accommodating when it comes to LGBTQI+, but there’s no debate about the fact that it has all considerably decreased and we’re in process and progress towards a more inclusive world.

This particular section of the society has faced tremendous discrimination, hatred and exclusions over the years and today we’re fortunate enough to witness the revolutionary changes in laws of various countries which are LGBTQI+ friendly.

Health is a human right; which implies healthcare is undeniable, for all human beings. Healthcare is a sector where discriminatory behavior is neither morally nor ethically tolerable as well as acceptable. No human being can be denied healthcare or given substandard treatment on the basis of any component of their identity. Medical education is about human body and hence it becomes the duty of a medical

practitioner to provide competent services to ALL that identify as HUMAN BEINGS. Discrimination and indifferent behavior has no place in health care. Medicine is a noble profession and the doctors are bound to take an oath and abide by it while delivering health services which emphasizes the importance of equality and humanity while treating patients. LGBTQI+ includes individuals from all age groups with

health problems from common medical illnesses to sexual and reproductive health and mental health to various age specific disorders, all deserving attention followed by fair and equal treatment.

We’re not entirely THERE yet : a system which provides dignified and non discriminatory healthcare to LGBTQI+ individuals; “Almost there” is not only one of the most liberally used phrases as an answer but also motivation in itself if viewed from an optimistic perspective – it means that we have begun and there is definitely going to be no looking back.

The number of youth organisations working on issues and challenges faced by LGBTQI+ population in focus today and their substantial tangible impact is enough proof that a wave of change has begun and today’s youth i.e. future professionals are not only aware but also sensitive towards and dedicated to deliver inclusive healthcare for LGBTQI+.

There are a number of movements across the globe that we read about in newspapers

and witness on social media bringing about some real impact and tangible changes related to rights of LGBTQI+ including but not limited to healthcare and wellbeing which is a ray of hope that the fair and equal world we dream about is not far from reality.

Yes, as the force that we young doctors are, we are prepared to (and have already begun to) deliver dignified and non discriminatory healthcare for LGBTQI+ human beings!

About the author

Dr. Rujvee P. Patel is a recent medical graduate from India, passionate about Human
Rights and Health. IFMSA delegate at the United Nations 62nd Commission on Status
of Women. IFMSA certified Human Rights trainer and Medical Ethics trainer,
facilitated related workshops and sessions internationally, nationally and locally. She
has worked with community service projects, organizing and volunteering. She is
dedicated towards and worked for Capacity building in youth. Also, she had
leadership and administrative positions in Medical Students Association of India
(MSAI)., and he has published articles in two issues of Medical Students
International (IFMSA’s biannual magazine).

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