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Aged Care to Improve for LGBTI Community

Jude Comfort
Jude Comfort, GRAI

Under the reforms announced by Federal Minister for Ageing Mark Butler, LGBTI people are to be included as a special needs group under the Aged Care Act, with funding of $2.5m set aside for LGBTI training of the aged care workforce – a move welcomed by LGBTI Health advocacy groups across Australia.

Jude Comfort from the the Gay and Lesbian Retirement Association (GRAI) explained that the changes are of particular significance because,

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‘It’s a federal policy where we’re actually being considered up there with other minority groups under the broad banner of diversity; but we’ve actually been named. There is to be quite extensive training budget for health services, aged care service providers and that includes a diversity agenda which has named LGBTI training.  In the past we’ve had diversity in training but that doesn’t really include us for some reason. So we’re pretty happy with what has been promised.

‘It’s very pleasing to see that the federal government has actually taken on board some of the suggestions that were in our submission that went to the Productivity Commission.

‘It’s not over but this I think is definitely more than a foot in the door and hopefully does indicate a better appreciation of some of the issue currently faced by older LGBTI people.’

Warren Talbot, speaking on behalf of the National LGBTI Health Alliance, welcomed the initiative, saying that training is expected to be rolled out in all States and Territories within the next five years. The Alliance and GRAI have also called for the development of a National LGBTI Aged Care Strategy.

Zoey Carter

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