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New Report highlights gaps in Australia’s intersex health care

New Report highlights gaps in Australia’s intersex health care

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 20 November 2013 13:21 Written by // Monica Purcell

A recent Senate Committee Report outlines a number of necessary reforms for Australia’s intersex health care system.

Based on an Inquiry by the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, the Report identified 15 key recommendations – one of the most important being a call for an immediate end to prenatal use of dexamathasone, a medication used to prevent intersex births.

Other recommendations include the replacement of the term ‘Disorders of Sex Development’ with ‘intersex’, as well as the deferral of medically unnecessary normalising treatment until the individual can give fully informed consent.

Executive Director of the National LGBTI Health Alliance Warren Talbot praised the recommendations of the Report.

“Collectively, these recommendations will bring Australia in line with the increasing international consensus that only intersex people themselves can ethically consent to ‘normalising’ medical interventions to their own bodies,” he said.

The Report also highlighted the importance of intersex support groups to both intersex people and their families, calling for core funding.

“Intersex organisations such as our Member Organisations, Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia and Androgen Insensitivity Support Group Australia (AISSGA) have the experience to provide this vital support but neither has core funding at this time,” Talbot said.

The Alliance has called for the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the Report.

“The Alliance recommends that the Commonwealth Government enact the fifteen recommendations in the Report. As the first country to provide federal anti-discrimination protection for intersex people, we need to ensure that our health system meets this standard by providing intersex people with the same access to safe and respectful health care as other Australians.”


Monica Purcell

Monica Purcell

Monica Purcell is a reporter and researcher for SX and GayNewsNetwork.

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