Lack of trans care and support in the northern territories of Australia is life threatening to many.
A recent report in the Australian media through ABC describes a situation that can be found in many parts of our country. Resources for support and in fact treatment by qualified Medical, Therapeutic and Counselling Services is scarce to completely non-existent.
“There’s hardly any endocrinologists in the Territory who can provide hormone treatment for trans people wishing to medically change their sex,” Sianne McLachlan from the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council said.
“You’ll get a good doctor in that looks after you but they don’t stay long because it’s a transient place and it’s a training place too for doctors and medical staff.”
This shows up the historical absence in training for all of these professions that would aid in treatment and advocacy for transgender or questioning people. The fact that there is also an absence of Specialist support such as Endocrinologists or Psychiatric/Psychologists is an acknowledged problem worldwide.
Resources that can be utilized in such times are the Internet, Video call facility (such as Skype) can be utilised in Public Facilities – under certain circumstances these calls can be treated as being classified as available for Bulk Billing under Medicare – and online support groups such as (Sistergirls & Brotherboys) where specific help is required for the Aboriginal community…..they do have a Facebook presence under that name (Closed group requiring application) and the Internet at Brothers and Sisters.com.
The very fact that some of the transgender population HAVE to leave their family groups and communities is an intolerable situation made worse by the lack of training for the basic Nursing and General Practitioners in Transgender treatment, exacerbated by the gross absence of specialist help in all but a very limited number of locations. Nor is there any significant help available in our public and government offices with current printed material and access to online services.
Remote access to these support services must be provided whereby the transgender person can seek help and be diagnosed for Hormone treatment under Medicare “Bulk Billing”. This also applies to Therapeutic services.