Strong Interest In Supporting Trans People’s Health
The Professional Association for Transgender health Aotearoa (PATHA) holds its second national symposium this weekend, bringing together people working professionally on transgender health in clinical, academic, and community settings. Sessions cover all forms of gender affirming care as well as steps needed to improve general health outcomes for Aotearoa’s transgender population, which includes binary and non-binary transgender people. Originally scheduled to be held in Ōtautahi Christchurch at the ground-breaking library and community space Tūranga, the symposium has moved entirely to a virtual platform due to the current COVID-19 alert level.
Keynote speakers include reconstructive and plastic surgeon Dr Rita Yang, takatāpui scholar, activist, and Green Party MP, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, and Sydney-based community health director, Teddy Cook. “The range of presenters reflects how improving health outcomes for transgender people requires action on all fronts, including in community-based settings and schools, within public hospitals and private practices, and in the laws and policies that support trans people’s health and human rights”, said PATHA President Dr Jaimie Veale.
The full programme can be viewed on PATHA’s webpage (https://patha.nz/2021-Christchurch).
In addition to the weekend symposium, PATHA has launched two training programmes. On Friday, 180 people are attending a multidisciplinary training day on Aotearoa approaches to providing gender affirmative practices. The PATHA Symposium will also include a training workshop specifically for and led by GPs. This session will have a focus on prescribing gender affirming hormones and supporting transgender patients.
“Local research shows that many transgender people avoid health services because they fear discrimination or lack of respect”, said Dr Veale. “The high interest in these training days reflects a growing commitment to improving the quality of care provided to trans people wherever they are seeking out health services.”
Both the PATHA Symposium and Training Day has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP).
All over Aotearoa, there are health professionals and community organisations dedicated to improving healthcare options for transgender. There’s an urgency to innovate and meet the diverse needs of our communities. This is apparent in the number of delegates this year, which as of Wednesday night had reached over 300.
2021’s Symposium continues the legacy of Aotearoa’s first Trans Health Symposium held at the University of Waikato in 2019. At the conclusion, over seventy delegates voted unanimously to establish PATHA. “PATHA’s vision is that all transgender people have full access to culturally appropriate and professionally delivered general and gender affirming healthcare, and that all healthcare providers have access to information and resources which enable them to provide appropriate healthcare”, said Dr Veale. “This symposium and training day are important for bringing us together to work towards achieving our vision.”
PATHA is an interdisciplinary professional organisation working to promote the health, wellbeing, and rights of transgender people. We have more than 170 members who work professionally for transgender health in clinical, academic, community, legal and other settings. Our vision is that all transgender people have full access to appropriate healthcare, and that all healthcare providers have access to information and resources which enable them to provide appropriate healthcare. The full Symposium programme is online at: https://patha.nz/2021-Christchurch