PSA launches its first Equality Statement
8 February 2023
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has today launched its Equality Statement, calling for pharmacists to reflect on how they provide more inclusive, appropriate and discrimination-free healthcare for LGBTQIA+ Australians. The statement also calls on healthcare bodies to make changes to better facilitate inclusive health care.
Practical ways pharmacists can support LGBTQIA+ individuals include avoiding heteronormative and cisnormative language, ensuring pronouns and chosen names are routinely used included in healthcare records, and recognising partners or family of choice as legally authorised decision makers in their health.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that all healthcare professionals have a duty to foster an accessible, inclusive, and non-discriminatory environment to improve health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ people.
“LGBTQIA+ communities are incredibly resilient and adaptable, but still experience disproportionately worse health outcomes than the wider population,” Dr Sim said.
“57% of LGBTQIA+ Australians have reported discrimination due to their sexual orientation, and almost 80% of these participants had experienced discrimination due to gender diversity.
“This is simply unacceptable.
“Stigma and discrimination cause significant negative health effects and leads to people avoiding healthcare entirely. Everyone should have equal access to healthcare. As some of the most accessible health care professionals, pharmacists have a specific duty of care to patients to ensure that healthcare is provided in an inclusive and appropriate way for all people.
“World Pride and Melbourne Midsummer festival are times where we celebrate the diversity of the community we live in and reflect on achievements in reducing and acknowledging discrimination experienced by LGBTQIA+ people in the past.
“Pharmacists play a vital role in supporting transgender and gender diverse patients undergoing gender-affirming hormone therapy. PSA is proud to offer pharmacist education in trans- and gender diverse health care in pharmacy, and to support pharmacists in providing inclusive care.
“The Australian healthcare system has the opportunity to better support LGBTQIA+ people at all stages of care. The onus is on each of us to better understand the unique health challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ communities and how to support all patients.”
The Equality Statement was driven by PSA’s Early Career Pharmacists who are passionate about building the health system’s capacity to support all people.
“I thank Amber Loomis and the Early Career Pharmacists for their contribution to PSA’s Equality Statement, for their dedication to improving inclusive healthcare in Australia.”
The PSA Equality Position Statement is available here.
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