A new Health Centre to care for and support LGBTQ people to improve their health will be established by ACON as part of the first NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy unveiled today.
The Centre will deliver primary care and GP, mental health, sexual health and cancer screening services for sexuality and gender diverse people across NSW. The NSW Government will invest $4.2m towards the Health Centre’s establishment, which will be led by ACON, NSW’s leading HIV and LGBTQ health organisation.
Funding for the Health Centre is among other key initiatives announced today by the NSW Government, with the release of the NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy.
As well as the Health Centre, the NSW Government will also provide support for specialist health services for trans and gender diverse young people and provide investment to kickstart local education and training initiatives. In total, the government is investing $12 million in support of the Strategy.
“This is a milestone step forward for our communities and their health. The Strategy’s aim to improve the provision of care for LGBTIQ+ people is a critical step towards improving our communities’ health and wellbeing into the future,” said Nicolas Parkhill AM, ACON’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We are particularly grateful of the support being offered to establish the Health Centre. This, along wth the Strategy, will help develop more specific health capacity that will better address the needs of our communities,” said Parkhill.
”ACON’s Health Centre will deliver integrated care specifically designed to meet the needs of LGBTQ people, across a wide range of health services, accessible state-wide,” said Karen Price, ACON’s Deputy CEO and project lead.
“Through the Centre, we aim to directly improve access to care that is appropriate, inclusive and responds to the particular drivers of poorer health outcomes for our communities.”
“We will provide access to a wide range of services including primary care, gender affirming health care, mental health support, drug and alcohol interventions, some specific cancer screening services and more – all in the same service and with peer support.”
“In addition, we want to amplify data collection and research efforts to better understand the health issues and effective interventions for members of our communities. In generating this new evidence and local expertise, we will be partnering with key researchers and research centres to strive toward reduced health inequalities into the future,” said Price.
“To have the NSW Government recognise the health needs of our communities, then work alongside us to deliver the first NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy to address these issues is a significant development,” said Justin Koonin, ACON President.
“The work to ensure NSW Health is better placed to deliver informed and effective healthcare for our communities is no small undertaking, and will require significant commitment over the life of the Strategy. The Strategy sets out an excellent plan for work that needs to be done to address some of the health inequities LGBTQ people face.”
“ACON would particularly thank and acknowledge the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet MP, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, as well as Independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich. We are deeply grateful for their tremendous support for both the Health Centre and its funding.”
“ACON looks forward to working with the NSW Government, NSW Health, health organisations, research bodies and community partners on both the implementation of the Strategy and the establishment of the ACON Health Centre,” said Koonin.
For more information about ACON and the NSW LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy, visit: www.acon.org.au for details.
Image: Five people with a Rainbow Flag (supplied)