New York City
public advocate Betsy Gotbaum released a report Wednesday
focused on the barriers many LGBT people face to accessing
adequate health care treatment.
titled, "Improving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Access to Healthcare at New York City Health and Hospitals
Corporation Facilities," finds that many LGBT
residents either shy away from visiting medical
facilities or experience homophobia and hostility in the
course of seeking proper medical care.
Yorkers deserve equal access to public healthcare services,
period," Gotbaum said in a statement. "And every New Yorker
should expect the quality of care to be the same no matter
the sexual orientation or gender identity of the
patient. This report points out areas of concern that
LGBT organizations and I have regarding healthcare for
gay and transgender New Yorkers." Gotbaum said she had
shared her concerns with New York City Health and
Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and made recommendations
for improving the quality of care.
these discussions with advocates and health care
health care environment is heterocentric and
gender-normative. Providers lack knowledge about
health disparities affecting LGBT people.
individuals experience hostility and discrimination in care.
about homophobia and transphobia keep LGBT individuals from
using health care services.
Voluntary training does not reach all staff.
advocate's report includes the following
recommendations for HHC:
in-house LGBT sensitivity training for all HHC employees.
Designate an LGBT liaison in each HHC facility.
Establish, display, and enforce a zero-tolerance
Establish a review process to monitor progress.
gender identity project coordinator and associate
director of Center CARE said, "We are very excited
that the public advocate has prioritized healthcare
access for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
people within New York's city hospitals. We know
firsthand of the numerous barriers to care that LGBT
communities face when seeking services at every level,
from the waiting room to the emergency room."