Equity in Healthcare


Equity in Healthcare Settings:

EQUITY, not EQUALITY- some people need more! To provide equitable care for LGBTQIA+ folks (or any marginalized group), implicit biases/assumptions must be unpacked and dealt with.

  • Assigned Sex: Sometimes referred to as just ‘sex.’ Determined by 4 factors: external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, hormones, & chromosomes.
  • Gender Identity: A person’s deep-rooted internal understanding of their identity on a gendered spectrum, regardless of the sex assigned to them.
  • Gender Expression: How a person externally communicates gender through clothes, hairstyle, mannerisms, etc.
  • Sexual Orientation: A person’s physical, romantic, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and/or other forms of attraction to others.


Why does this matter?

  • 27% of transgender patients have been denied care
  • 50% of transgender patients report having to teach their doctor(s) about transgender identities and health
  • 70% of transgender/gender nonconforming patients and 56% of lesbian, gay, & bisexual patients have experienced at least one of the following from doctors or healthcare staff:
    • Denying care
    • Refusing to touch/use excessive precautions
    • Using harsh or abusive language
    • Blaming them for their health status
    • Being physically rough or abusive
  • Due to this history of discrimination & abuse, LGBTQ+ patients may delay getting treatment or avoid healthcare settings entirely due to fear of being harassed, misunderstood, mocked, or refused care.


Best Practices for Physical Spaces:

  • Gender-neutral/all-gender bathrooms
  • Inclusive and gender-neutral self-education materials with diverse photos
  • Flags, stickers, pins
  • Gender-neutral colors


Best Practices for Interpersonal Communication:

  • Avoid assumptions and gendered language
  • Discuss medically necessary/relevant information; don’t ask questions out of curiosity
  • Always ask for consent before asking personal information
  • Always affirm individuals’ pronouns. If unsure, use gender-neutral pronouns until there’s been a chance to ask the individual


Avoid Assumptions:

Don’t assume…

  • That all patients are cisgender/ heterosexual
  • How a patient wants to describe/feel about their body, identity, family, and/or partner(s)
  • Which bathroom someone uses
  • Someone’s sexual behaviors based on their disclosed identities


To learn more about Camden County Clinic Clinical Services, visit: Communicable Diseases | Camden County, NJ

To see what Camden County is doing to celebrate PRIDE month, visit: Camden County Pride | Camden County, NJ