Transgender Health and Gender Diversity- educating, supporting and connecting clinicians


In 2016 the Hunter New England (HNE) HealthPathways team collaborated with the HNE Local Health District (LHD) and the Hunter Centre for Sex and Gender Diversity (HCSGD) to develop an evidence based transgender healthcare pathway that described local assessment, management and referral options for clinicians. The Transgender Health and Gender Diversity HealthPathway was developed partly as a result of evidence regarding disparities in healthcare for the transgender population and also in response to feedback from local GPs, specialists and the transgender community. Evidence shows that although a significant proportion (0.4-1.3%) of the population identify as transgender, stigmatisation and difficulty accessing healthcare have resulted in high suicidality and mental health issues, HIV rates and drug and alcohol issues in trans-people. Our local transgender community identified a lack of health-provider knowledge and an absence of referral pathways as barriers to essential healthcare. Local clinicians were similarly frustrated by a lack of awareness and understanding about how to provide timely and appropriate transgender healthcare and a lack of knowledge of appropriate local specialist services. The HNE HealthPathways team was the first Australian team to develop a Transgender Health and Gender Diversity HealthPathway and it has since been adopted or is being adopted across several regions in Australia and New Zealand. The project was also a finalist in the HNE High Value Health Care Awards in 2017. The session will include our experience of pathway development, showcase the pathway and discuss how it could be adapted and localised for other regions.


Sandra Fitzgerald |

Sandra Fitzgerald is a Clinical Editor with the Hunter New England HealthPathways team. She studied pharmacy at the University of Sydney and then gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy from Monash University. Sandra has had diverse career encompassing community and hospital pharmacy, drug information, poisons information and academic detailing.