Gender Discrimination Removed from Medicare

plibersek_tanya[1]Medicare is set to remove gender discrimination policies that mean intersex/trans* patients will no longer need to discuss their gender identity before receiving treatment. Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, explained how currently some Medicare services are only available for men and women.

“Someone who has a uterus may actually identify their gender as male. Under current arrangements, some Medicare cover medical procedures involving the uterus are described as ‘female’ or for ‘women’”, she said.

Out of the 6000 services covered by Medicare, 43 will need to be altered; all gender references will be removed from any descriptions.

Discussions around adding a third sex to Medicare records are also occurring at the Department of Human Services.

President of Organisation Intersex International Australia, Gina Wilson, referred to the changes as a ‘huge step forward’.

Living as an intersex person, Wilson has experienced issues with the health system first hand.

“The doctors that think I’m female tend to treat me like that and ignore my male bits. And doctors that think I’m male tend to treat me like that and ignore my female bits”.

“What medicine should be treating is the person and the part of a person. Medicine should not be interested in a person’s sex”.

Nadine Walker

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