With a federal election due to be called, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia is calling on all parties and independent candidates to commit to nine priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people and communities.
LHA’s 2022 Election Priorities highlight nine crucial actions for the 47th Parliament to deliver on and address the significant health and wellbeing disparities across LGBTIQ+ communities.
“LGBTIQ+ communities face significant barriers to improved health because of stigma and discrimination,” said LHA Chief Executive Officer Nicky Bath (she/her).
The key recommendation that underpins the priorities is the development and nationally coordinated implementation of a 10-year National LGBTIQ+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan that draws upon priority actions from existing national health and wellbeing strategies and identifies key gaps, with resourcing to place lived and living experience at the centre of implementation, especially for LGBTIQ+ community-controlled health services.
LGBTIQ+ people have been recognised as a priority population in many national health and wellbeing strategies, and there is a lack of coordination and action. LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations continue to be underfunded and under-resourced.
LHA is calling for multi-partisan support and for political differences to be put aside. By focusing on the evidence and working with lived experience it is possible that we can change the current trajectory of poorer health outcomes and instead, for example, reduce suicide, improve mental health, address alcohol and other drug use, tackle cancer and ensure investment is targeted to build a strong and responsive LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing sector.
“All members of LGBTIQ+ communities, including those who live at the intersections of additional marginalised identities and experiences, can no longer be left behind,” said Ms Bath.
“Current systems are failing our communities, and these disparities will not only remain, but they will also deteriorate if LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing continue to be sidelined in policy and service and program planning.”
“It is important that the future Government act quickly and commit to fundamental change that includes LGBTIQ+ people and communities in national structures and systems,” said Ms Bath.
LHA is asking for all candidates to take care during the election campaign and commit to causing no further harm to LGBTIQ+ people. Harmful public discourse about LGBTIQ+ communities and particularly trans and gender diverse communities has significant negative impacts and is detrimental particularly to people’s mental health.
For more information and to read the election priorities, visit: www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au for details.
Image: Parliament House, Canberra (sourced)