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LGBT health week: Medical care without discrimination

18-3-2019

For the third consecutive year, the Lebanese Medical Association for Sexual Health (LebMASH) organized the LGBT Health Week 2019 from March 12 until March 17 under the slogan, ‘Excellence without discrimination’. The aim of the event is improving the level of sexual healthcare and provision of medical care for every patient, in particular marginalized groups, young people and seniors, without discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. On the subject, the head of LebMASH, Shadi Ibrahim, said to date there are physicians, nurses, psychiatrists and even some hospitals who refuse to treat or provide medical services for LGBT persons. He cited surveys covering a group of Lebanese doctors, which revealed that 60% of respondents still believe homosexuality is a disease, attributing the reason not only to societal misconceptions which nurture the community including doctors, but also to the absence of disciplines or courses on the LGBT community in many universities. Ibrahim explained, that to face the harsh reality, his association developed the LebGuide on its website, which contains contact info of doctors and therapists under ‘Friends for Diversity’. The event addressed a number of issues, including palliative care in Lebanese prisons and the challenges healthcare providers face, in addition to the provision of sustainable care for marginalized populations and enhancing the rights of minorities in palliative care. On the sidelines, a workshop was held for medicine, nursing, psychology and social counselling students to this end. (Al Akhbar, March 18, 2019)

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