LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

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Good practice guidelines for medical workers in their work with LGBT persons

Topic - Access to Health / Access to Healthcare / Health
Country - Montenegro
Resource Type - Best Practice / Guideline / Manual / Toolkit
Language - ENGLISH
Year - 2014

Third and amended edition of the good practice guidelines for medical workers is a part of the project “Adequate and accessible health care for all”.
Every sixth person in Montenegro is LGBT, which makes a significant and hardly negligible number of citizens, and thus potential patients. Despite this fact, doctors and other medical workers receive inadequate and incomplete education on a wide range of matters of sexuality and gender identity, poorly dedicating themselves to human sexuality in general, thus most of them do not possess the necessary skills in counseling and communications with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons. To a large extent, basic health care needs of LGBT community are no different than those of heterosexual population, although there are some additional health care issues and requirements, and the biggest disparity is in the availability of adequate health care and the gap in the physician – patient relationship.
The Good practice guidelines were developed in response to deeply rooted stereotypical attitudes and prejudices towards LGBT people. This publication is intended for the interested medical personnel who want to know more about different sexual orientations than heterosexual and gender identities – throughout history to the present, the basic concepts, identities, common prejudices and misconceptions about the LGBT people. Our goal is to promote education, increase tolerance and understanding towards people who are different and provide useful information that will contribute to better communication in the doctor – patient relationship.
Third and amended edition of the Good practice guidelines for medical workers is a part of the project “Adequate and accessible health care for all,” implemented by NGO Juventas in order to promote and protect human rights of LGBT persons in the area of health care services provision in Montenegro. The project included educational and participatory activities, raising awareness and sensitivity activities aiming at promotion of patients’ rights (with a special emphasis on sexual orientation and gender identity), respect and understanding of differences, improvement of communication and relationship between doctors and patients, therefore contribution to a more tolerant society we live in. Target group of the project are medical workers, employees in primary, secondary and tertiary health care institutions, as well as Medical faculty students.