New WA HealthPathway champions trans, gender diverse and non-binary health

Recognising the critical need for trans, gender diverse and non-binary (TGDNB) people to be able access appropriate and inclusive healthcare, our HeathPathways WA team has worked closely with specialist clinicians and representatives from the TGDNB community to develop the newly launched Transgender Health and Gender Diversity HealthPathway.

Based on national and international guidelines, the pathway can help GPs to support TGDNB people to affirm their gender and address their specific health needs.

In addition to the typical assessment, management and specialist referral information contained within most HealthPathways, this pathway also provides advice on creating welcoming and inclusive clinical environments for TGDNB people and information on supports for TGDNB people and their families.

HealthPathways WA GP Clinical Editor, Dr Irene Dolan has been carefully developing the pathway. An initial working group brought together GPs, specialist clinicians, representatives from the TGDNB community and researchers to discuss local issues relating to TGDNB health.

 “Many GPs have not received training in TGDNB health. This significant gap in knowledge can affect GP confidence in seeing TGDNB patients and can result in TGDNB people not feeling comfortable accessing primary care.”

Further development took place in consultation with a subject matter expert (SME) group including specialists from the Royal Perth Hospital and Perth Children’s Hospital Gender Diversity Services and representatives from the TGDNB community. GPs with experience in TGDNB health were also involved in pathway development and a final consultation undertaken with the Department of Health WA.

The depth of knowledge and the insights of everyone who worked on the pathway has helped to create a pathway which addresses the complexities faced by TGDNB individuals when accessing health care and addresses some of the challenges that GPs face whilst trying to help their patients access gender affirming care,” Dr Dolan said.

Sexual Health Physician, Dr Sally Murray is one of the pathway SMEs. She discusses the content of the pathway:

“[The pathway] shows how to help patients as they start their journey, ensuring they have adequate support to explore their gender identity (if needed); and to explore the expected changes (social and physical) of their transition, making sure they can make competent decisions, and understand the risks and benefits of hormone and/or surgical intervention.”

Read more from Dr Murray and other pathway SMEs in this month’s GP Connect Clinical Feature, Supporting trans, gender diverse and non-binary people to access appropriate and inclusive healthcare.

And in 2023, the HealthPathways WA team in collaboration with our Training and Communities of Practice team and the Hospital Liaison GPs at Royal Perth Hospital and Perth Children’s Hospital will deliver a new webinar series on trans, gender diverse and non-binary (TGDNB).  Express your interest to be contacted when registration opens.