AusPATH and PATHA Welcome RACP Advice to Australian Minister Greg Hunt

The Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH), established in 2009 as the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health, is Australia’s peak body for professionals involved in the health, rights and wellbeing of trans people, including those who are gender diverse and non-binary (TGDNB). The AusPATH membership comprises approximately 300 experienced professionals working across Australia.

The Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA) is an interdisciplinary professional organisation working to promote the health, wellbeing and rights of transgender people in Aotearoa New Zealand. PATHA’s membership includes over 70 professionals who have experience working for transgender health in clinical, academic, community, legal and other settings.

AusPATH and PATHA welcome the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) advice to Minister Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for Health, regarding the care and treatment of TGDNB children and adolescents, including those seeking medical intervention. This advice is based on the available scientific evidence and the expertise of those with relevant clinical experience across sub-speciality areas of medicine and bioethics.

AusPATH and PATHA agree with the RACP that ensuring children and adolescents who are trans, including those who are gender diverse and non-binary “can access appropriate care and treatment regardless of where they live, should be a national priority”, and that “withholding or limiting access to care and treatment would be unethical and would have serious impacts on the health and wellbeing of young people.”

As stated by the RACP, clinical care needs to be “non-judgemental, supportive and welcoming for children, adolescents and their families”.

AusPATH and PATHA also support the RACP recommendation that the Australian Government provide funding for research, especially in relation to the long-term health and wellbeing outcomes for trans, including gender diverse and non-binary, young people. Increased investment in research and expansion of the knowledge base, for young people and adults, will be vital in improving the current and disturbing high rates of depression, anxiety, suicide attempts and suicide amongst this cohort.

Improving outcomes can only be achieved by reducing the stigma, discrimination, bullying and harassment that trans people, including those who are gender diverse and non-binary, are subjected to on a daily basis. Negative, hateful media campaigns aimed at invalidating the experiences and strength of this community, and those who provide care for them, is reprehensible, harmful and must stop.

There is much work for us to do to improve the lives of all trans people in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Both AusPATH and PATHA look forward to assisting the clinicians, researchers, educators and advocates across our two countries to continue the provision of high quality, patient-centred, human rights-focused and comprehensive gender affirming care and treatment.

Further reading:

Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Statement

Royal Australasian College of Physician’s Letter to Minister Hunt

Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne Statement

Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for Trans and Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents 

AusPATH Position Statement on the Hormonal Management of Adult Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals

Guidelines for gender affirming healthcare for gender diverse and transgender children, young people and adults in Aotearoa New Zealand

The AusPATH Board of Directors                            

6 March 2020

PATHA Executive Committee

11 March 2020

Also published by PATHA on 12 March 2020 HERE.

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