Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service will receive $1.117 million over four years to reduce patient wait times at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital gender clinic.
A key focus will be to reduce patient wait times regarding access to endocrine treatment.
The funding is part of a $5.27 million package for sexual health services to promote good sexual health and fight sexually transmissible infections across the state.
Health Minister Cameron Dick said it was important to set aside the traditional taboo that came with discussing sexual health and do what was best for Queenslanders.
“Good sexual health is an important facet of the overall health and well-being of every person across this state,” he said.
“There are challenges in this area of health, including rising rates of some sexually transmissible infections, issues relating to reproductive health, increasing numbers of people living with HIV, and the discrimination and stigmatisation that is often associated with sexual health-related matters.”
Dr Stephen Stathis (pictured), who runs the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital gender clinic, said early treatment with hormones could reduce long-term physical effects such as the “male look” that many people had if they were treated late in life.
He said the funding meant the wait time could be reduced from about three years to three months.
Mr Dick said $1.5 million would go towards statewide programs for sexual health education, clinician training and consumer information resource development.
“On top of that, more than $3.7 million will be split across a number of priority regions and services, adding much needed skills and resources,” he said.
The $3.7 million includes:
- $348,125 over four years to Metro South Hospital and Health Service to increase psychologist capacity at the Princess Alexandra Sexual Health Service. This will assist in providing additional psychological services to HIV positive people, enhancing engagement in care and adherence to treatment.
- Gold Coast, Townsville and Wide Bay hospital and health services will each receive $481,569 over four years to increase capacity in their Sexual Health Services enhancing their ability to test for and treat STIs, HIV, viral hepatitis, and to provide psychological support to patients.
- $201,890 over three years to Metro North Hospital and Health Service to enhance the syphilis surveillance program and to provide support to primary healthcare providers in responding to syphilis cases and informing policy and programs.
- $1,117,183 to Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CHQHHS) over four years to reduce patient wait times regarding access to endocrine (hormone) treatment at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
- CHQHHS will receive an additional $100,000 in 2017/18 to develop an online orientation and training program focused on the sexual health needs of children and young people. It will enable School Based Youth Health Nurses (SBYHNs) and other health professionals to better deliver school-based relationships and sexuality education programs.