Gender affirming healthcare

Everyone deserves to be supported to live as their authentic and best self.

For trans and gender diverse people this often means getting help from health professionals to medically affirm who they are, for example through hormones, affirming therapy and other supports.

But trans and gender diverse South Australians currently face a health system that lacks the training, clinical expertise, funding and resources to provide life-saving gender affirming care. 

Over the last year and a half the government have consulted deeply with trans and gender diverse South Australians to understand their healthcare needs.

Now, with a Labor Government recently elected to establish a health system that everyone can benefit from, we need to take action to deliver timely, appropriate and evidence-based care for trans and gender diverse South Australians.

Political leaders must act to fund and implement a well resourced Statewide model of care for gender diversity services in South Australia.

Will you sign our petition and stand with South Australian trans and gender diverse people to call for timely, appropriate and evidence-based care gender affirming healthcare?

To: Hon. Chris Picton MP, Minister for Health and Wellbeing

As LGBTIQA+ community members and allies, we call on the South Australian government to support trans and gender diverse people to access the vital gender affirming healthcare they need, when they need it.

The South Australian Labor Government was elected to establish a health system for the future that everyone can benefit from. This can and must include trans and gender diverse South Australians, no matter their age. 

We need our government to:

  • Increase funding for existing gender affirming health services to address long-waiting times for trans and gender diverse South Australians currently accessing them.
  • Provide ongoing, appropriate and sustainable funding and resourcing for gender affirming health services across the State from the 2022/23 financial year. 
  • Promote evidence-based practice in line with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care.
  • Update the community on SA Health’s progress over the last 6 months to develop a Statewide gender diversity model of care, and outline the plan to implement it. The better informed our community is, the more we can help ensure the model meets the needs of our communities.
Trans flag - photo by Jenny Scott

Latest update: Draft model of care released

July 2022

On 21 July 2022 trans community advocates and SARAA met with Health Minister Chris Picton MP to present signatures from over 150 South Australians calling for timely and accessible gender affirming healthcare.

SA Health released their draft State-wide Gender Diversity Model of Care later that day. It sets out plans for:

  • continued specialised Child and Adolescent Gender Diversity Service operating as a single state-wide
    service
  • a specialised Statewide Adult Gender Diversity Service with multi-disciplinary care including mental health, gynaecology, urology, plastic surgery, speech pathology, endocrinology, psychiatry and peer support
  • surgical gender affirmation services to be implemented in public health services in a phased approach
  • building the capacity of mainstream health services providers to support ongoing care for TGDNB people.
Importantly, funding and resourcing for the model are yet to be determined so we need our communities to once again tell decision-makers about the urgent need for ongoing, appropriate and sustainable funding for gender affirming health services.

You can read the summary document and full model of care here.

SA Health are seeking any final feedback before the model is finalised and implemented. You can give feedback by:

  • completing SA Health's online survey
  • attending an online session to talk through the model on Tuesday 2 August 2022, 5:00pm-6:00pm and Wednesday 3 August 2022, 12.30pm-1.30pm. Contact Ruth.Fernandez@sa.gov.au to attend
  • emailing us at info@saraa.org.au so we can make sure your voice is heard.

Feedback closes Friday 5 August.

What's happened on this issue?

Over the last 2 years, our communities have repeatedly called on the South Australian Government to improve gender affirming health services for trans and gender diverse people across our State.

This includes increased funding for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Gender Diversity Service that provides vital support for trans and gender diverse young people.

Check out the below timeline of key events.

Nov 2019

Commissioner for Children and Young People SA released the First Port of Call Report calling for gender affirming health services to be made available when children need them, along with greater visibility, training and information about gender diversity in healthcare.

May 2020

SARAA wrote to then Minister for Health advocating for increased funding for the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s Gender Diversity Service.

We received no response.

Aug 2020

SA Health makes public statements indicating it was 'reviewing a business case for an "enhanced" gender service'.

Nov 2020

2020-21 State Budget released which once again fails to address the needs of trans and gender diverse young people.

Dec 2020

SARAA wrote again to then Minister for Health expressing our disappointment in the lack of action in regards to healthcare for trans and gender diverse young people.

Yet again, we received no response.

May 2021

SA Health hosted a Statewide Gender Diversity model of care workshop attended by representatives from SARAA and the trans and gender diverse community discussing their healthcare needs.

July 2021

SARAA delivered its LGBTIQA+ Community Advisory Group report to government identifying key priorities for action. This included recommendations to implement a Statewide Gender Diversity Model of Care and to adequately resource existing services until the new model is implemented.

Oct 2021

SARAA released it's Vision for SA Pride, a unified vision of LGBTIQA+ inclusion and equality for South Australia informed by voices of over 600 LGBTIQA+ South Australians and their allies.

80% of respondents rated gender affirming healthcare as an extremely or very important priority.

March 2022

SARAA wrote to political parties in the lead up to the SA Election seeking a commitment on improving access to gender affirming healthcare. Both major parties made partial committments to do so.

"Labor supports improved access to healthcare for trans and gender diverse South Australians. We condemn the Marshall Liberal Government's inaction in repose to SARAA and Transcend SA's continued advocacy to improve awareness of and access to these services in South Australia - despite the clear recommendation of doctors." - Peter Malinauskas writing to SARAA, 8 February 2022

July 2022

Trans community advocates and SARAA met with Health Minister Chris Picton MP requesting an update on the Gender Diversity Model of Care.

SA Health released their draft State-wide Gender Diversity Model of Care later that day.

Proposed funding and resourcing for gender affirming health services is yet to be confirmed.

We stand with our South Australian trans and gender diverse community and we will not stop fighting for your access to healthcare.

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