AHA was engaged to develop a new state-wide service model for the delivery of client-centred gender identity and transition-related health and human services to trans and gender diverse people in Victoria.
Trans and gender diverse people consistently report negative experiences with healthcare providers, ranging from a general lack of knowledge and understanding to outright stigma and pathologisation. Such interactions can cause serious emotional and physical harm and have long-term implications for the relationship between trans and gender diverse people and healthcare providers.
AHA undertook extensive consultations with the trans and gender diverse community, service providers, peak bodies and other stakeholders to develop a new service model for the health and human services needed to support trans and gender diverse individuals in relation to gender identity and transition. This included social and medical support, as well as related issues such as housing, employment or legal assistance.
The new service system was designed to ensure that service quality and safety are maintained. AHA’s report provided analysis, findings and specific recommendations regarding six key aspects:
Our final report is available at the Victorian Government website. Following this report, in 2018 the Government announced funding of $3.4 million to expand the Victorian health system’s capacity to support trans and gender diverse people. This includes funding for professional development and peer support services, all of which reflect our key recommendations.
The Government website advises –
In 2017, the Victorian Government commissioned the Australian Healthcare Associates to review the trans and gender diverse health system and determine the need for better access to appropriate and timely health, wellbeing and support services.
The Development of trans and gender diverse services in Victoria: Final report is based on extensive consultations with the trans and gender diverse community and feedback and comments from a public discussion paper released in February 2018, support and advocacy organisations and health and support service providers, as well as a literature review. This report identified the need for additional capacity, alternative models of care and better pathways to treatment and support.
This report influenced the design of the Trans and Gender Diverse Health Initiative.
The new service model will ensure trans and gender diverse Victorians have access to quality health services that are knowledgeable, respectful, and safe. Funding was announced in 2018 to implement AHA's key recommendations.