Health minister rejects call for a ‘national inquiry’ into transgender healthcare despite the best efforts of the fierce anti-trans lobby
Australian health minister Greg Hunt has rejected calls from the anti-trans lobby for a national inquiry into healthcare for transgender children.
The senior government MP said that a national inquiry could further harm an already vulnerable group, and instead said that he would be looking at ways of improving existing healthcare for trans kids in Australia.
“It is important we have a nationally consistent standard of care that is evidence-based and with appropriate safeguards to protect the interests of the patient,” Hunt told The Sunday Age.
“In recognition of the risks of further harm to young people, the government does not intend to establish a national inquiry on this matter.”
Australian Health Minister suggests there will be funding for trans research.
Hunt, who received expert advice from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) last month about the clinical treatment of children with gender dysphoria, added that he would now look into establishing a national framework for gender services and will potentially be funding more scientific research into gender dysphoria.
“Individuals identifying as transgender and gender diverse often have unique healthcare needs and are at an increased risk of poor health outcomes and mental health issues,” he said.
“Any next steps will be undertaken in partnership with relevant experts and taking into account the best available evidence.”
The RACP warned that a national probe into trans healthcare “would not increase the scientific evidence available regarding gender dysphoria but would further harm vulnerable patients and their families through increased media and public attention”.
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The college also backed a gender-affirming approach to young people questioning or exploring their gender, saying it “strongly supports expert clinical care that is non-judgmental, supportive and welcoming”.
Anti-trans campaign in Australia.
The news will come as a relief to LGBT+ rights organisations and the transgender community in Australia, where the Murdoch press has been leading an increasingly vocal anti-trans campaign.
Last summer, The Australian — a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp — was widely condemned for its “appalling” coverage of transgender issues in a new section on its website dedicated to gender.
Headlines in the section include “They’re castrating children”, “Transgender project ‘out of balance'”, “Sex not a matter of belief”, and “Corrupting kids’ thinking”.
In November 2019, a UN expert slammed the media in Australia for positioning trans youth as a “new social fad or ideology”.
Despite this, The Australia sparked fury again in February 2020 with an article that drew comparisons between coronavirus and the “contagion” of transgender people.