LGBTQ Discrimination Impacts Health Care Access

LGBTQ people face high rates of discrimination in health care settings, and this can discourage them from seeking out health care in the future

A 2017 survey done by the Center for American Progress found that LGBTQ people do face discrimination in health care settings, that this discrimination can discourage people from seeking out care, and that LGBTQ patients may have difficulty finding alternative treatment. According to the survey, the alternative treatment situation is most difficult for LGBTQ people living in nonmetropolitan areas, 41 percent of whom said it would be “very difficult” or “not possible” to find the same type of service at a different hospital if they were turned away from their health care provider.

The kind of discrimination that LGBTQ patients experience includes harassment, humiliation, misgendering, and being turned away or refused treatment. This can cause patients to avoid or postpone medical care and can also impact the number of patients receiving preventative screenings; 8% of all LGBTQ people and 14% of those who had recently experienced health care discrimination avoided or postponed care because of such treatment. The authors conclude that their data demonstrates “the importance of protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in health care” and the necessity of affirming, non-discriminatory health care for LGBTQ patients.

You can read the full report from the Center for American Progress here: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2018/01/18/445130/discrimination-prevents-lgbtq-people-accessing-health-care/