Gender affirming healthcare

We want our transgender and gender diverse community, especially children and young people, to be able to access the vital gender affirming health care they need when they need it.

Through conversations with trans and gender diverse South Australians, their families, and the practitioners who assist them, we’ve heard time and time again of the barriers the community faces when trying to access support.

Whether it’s the struggle of a parent trying to find a GP who understands gender diversity, the exasperation faced by a teenager waiting 12 to 18 months to see specialists who can diagnose gender dysphoria, or the frustration faced by transgender and gender diverse people of all ages when they’re forced to educate their medical professionals about gender diversity – change is required.

We know that public health services for trans and gender diverse young people, such as the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic, are overstretched and under resourced. Meanwhile there’s a lack of suitable and accessible private health alternatives. It’s clear that South Australia’s health system is unable to meet the increase demand for gender affirming healthcare that it’s experiencing.

These delays, misunderstandings and experiences of discrimination cause unnecessary and preventable distress and can have devastating consequences for trans and gender diverse young people and the people who support them.

What we’re doing

The South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA) has repeatedly called on the South Australian government to increase funding for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Gender Clinic.

In May 2020 we wrote to Stephen Wade MLC, Minister for Health and Wellbeing asking the government to increase funding for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s gender clinic in the 2020 state budget. You can read our letter here.

After months of silence from Minister Wade, we were disappointed to see the SA Government fail to address the needs of trans and gender diverse young people in its State Budget. With no mention of trans or gender diverse people, trans healthcare or a gender clinic anywhere in the budget papers, the 2020 budget made it clear to us that a whole lot more work needs to be done to get our political leaders to deliver the basic healthcare needs for trans and gender diverse young people.
In December 2020 we again wrote Minister Wade to express our disappointment in the South Australian government’s failure to provide essential healthcare to transgender and gender diverse children and young people, particularly in light of public statements by SA Health in August 2020 stating it was ‘reviewing a business case for an “enhanced” gender service’. You can read our follow up letter here.
In May 2020, we were pleased to attend SA Health’s State-wide gender diversity model of care workshop. It was encouraging to see long overdue consultation with our community, and we look forward to seeing this translate into positive health outcomes for trans and gender diverse South Australians.
We stand with our trans and gender diverse community here in South Australia and we will not stop fighting for your access to healthcare.

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