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Transgender community calls for fast-tracked mental health services to avoid lengthy wait for hormones

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By James Hancock

Victoria's growing transgender community is demanding greater action to tackle long public waiting lists to access hormone therapy.

Melbourne has two publicly-funded facilities specialising in transgender health — the Monash Gender Dysphoria Clinic and the Royal Children's Hospital Gender Service.

But transgender specialist Dr Pauline Cundill said some patients faced delays of between 12 and 18 months to see psychiatrists and clinical psychologists through the two services.

"The last few years in particular, we've seen exponential increases in the number of trans and gender-diverse clients accessing medical care, and as a result the public clinics have become overwhelmed," she said.

She said part of the reason for the long delays was a requirement for general practitioners to seek psychological approval before prescribing sex-change hormones.

Jeremy Wiggins, the Victorian AIDS Council's spokesman on transgender health, said the delays could be reduced if patients saw a private specialist, although most could not afford to pay up to $200 a session.

More here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-21/transgender-community-calls-for-fast-tracked-psych-services/8043390


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