There exist large healthcare disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals in the contemporary world. Members of the LGBTQ community continue to suffer from healthcare disparities. For instance, approximately 82% of heterosexual adults maintain healthcare insurance in the United States (Acolatse, 2020). On the other hand, approximately 77% of LGBTQ individuals maintain such insurance covers. Such increased healthcare disparities originate from several factors such as lack of health insurance, LGBTQ stigma, and lack of competent care. This paper explores the strategies to reduced healthcare disparities among the LGBTQ community.
There is the need to ensure LGBTQ inclusivity in the national healthcare narrative. This will help to reduce unnecessary healthcare risks to such individuals. The inclusion of LGBTQ communities will help to ensure major changes in healthcare systems. Healthcare organizations and governments should also increase the access of LGBTQ people to comprehensive care through ensuring a collective commitment and collaboration between social work, healthcare, public health, and policy making (Acolatse, 2020). This will help to reduce LBGTQ’s stigma and ensure increased participation in healthcare issues. Healthcare organizations can also reduce LBGTQ healthcare disparities through healthcare training and education programs. As such, there is the need to equip healthcare practitioners with resources and knowledge to deliver improved and comprehensive care to the full spectrum of patients. Such training programs will help healthcare practitioners to equally treat patients without any form of discrimination.
Healthcare education and service institutions also need to increase the number of special population practitioners. Currently, there exist limited special practitioners, who are limited in specific geographic areas. Members of the LGBTQ community might face several challenges that might limit their access to such healthcare practitioners (Hafeez, Zeshan, Tahir, Jahan, & Naveed, 2017). For instance, members of the LGBTQ community might experience transport barriers to access specialized healthcare practitioners. This in turn will increase their access disparities compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Each primary care and specialist practitioner needs to become educated concerning the treatment requirements and risks of treating LGBTQ patients. Such increased education will also help to reduce the bias of healthcare professionals towards this community (Baptiste-Roberts, Oranuba, Werts, & Edwards, 2017). Healthcare professionals also maintain a persona responsibility of becoming more educated and comfortable in the provision of healthcare services to the LGBTQ community members. Through education, the healthcare practitioners will become aware of the misconceptions, stereotypes, and biases against the LGBTQ community. I believe that every person deserves comprehensive and compassionate healthcare regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Healthcare organizations also need to foster an environment that supports and nurtures all patients and families. This is through several approaches such as ensuring that the existing visitation policies are fair and non-discriminatory. Healthcare professionals also need to refrain from making assumptions and judgments concerning a patient’s sexual orientation based on appearance. Healthcare organizations can also foster such an environment through the determination and implementation of mechanisms that prevents patient discrimination (Baptiste-Roberts, Oranuba, Werts, & Edwards, 2017). Healthcare organizations also need to honor and respect patient decisions on the disclosure of sexual orientation and gender identity. As such, there is the need for the implementation of policies that will allow for gender-neutral language that will allow for self-identification.
Acolatse, N. (2020). Health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population in Ghana. TEXILA INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NURSING, 6(1), 84-96. doi:10.21522/tijnr.2015.06.01.art009
Baptiste-Roberts, K., Oranuba, E., Werts, N., & Edwards, L. V. (2017). Addressing health care disparities among sexual minorities. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, 44(1), 71-80. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2016.11.003
Hafeez, H., Zeshan, M., Tahir, M. A., Jahan, N., & Naveed, S. (2017). Health care disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: A literature review. Cureus. doi:10.7759/cureus.1184