In Australia, the gender-neutral medical system is often a symbol of health care in general.
The gender-blind system is an option, but a much less common one.
The system is not universal, and there are some restrictions on who can be treated in certain hospitals.
But what about when it comes to women and their bodies?
Gender-neutral hospitals, or gids, are not a new concept in Australia.
In the United States, they were also a part of the healthcare system in the 1980s.
Today, the term is widely accepted in the healthcare industry, and is used to describe a healthcare system that does not discriminate based on sex, gender or race.
In Australia, gids are not widely accepted as a medical treatment option, although they are an option in some parts of the country.
Women’s health and gender equity is an issue, however, and the Australian Medical Association says there is an urgent need for gids in Australia’s healthcare system.
The Medical Council of Australia’s National Women’s Health and Gender Equity Committee voted unanimously to support gids at the 2020 General Assembly.
At the moment, there are only a few gids around the country, which include Women’s Medical Group, the Sydney-based Women’s Healthcare Institute, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Northern Territory Women’s Centre.
The NSW Department of Health and Human Services is considering adding gender-sensitive gender identity support services, including gender-responsive care, at a time when the NSW government has been under fire for not providing adequate funding for gender-specific health and social services.
New South Wales is considering introducing gender-insensitive gender identity services.
The National Health and Medical Research Council, which oversees the country’s research into gender identity, also has a working group that will consider adding gender responsive services to the system.
“We need to have gender-inclusive services in every part of our health system,” Dr Michelle Jones, chair of the working group, told Al Jazeera.
“It is not enough to just have one, two or three gids.
It needs to be a holistic approach to everything.”
Gender-insensitivity services have been proposed in other parts of Australia.
In 2017, the Victorian Government also announced that it was working towards introducing gender insensitivity services for all health services, in line with the Commonwealth government’s policy of protecting all health-care workers from discrimination.
“It’s important to recognise that this is a new development in Australia and it’s important that we start with the most vulnerable groups first and build it over time,” Dr Jones said.
Gender insensitivity, as it is known, would allow healthcare workers to have access to a range of services that would otherwise be inaccessible or restricted.
It would also ensure that gender-critical care, such as gender-focused psychotherapy and gender-diverse and diverse gender-positive work, could be provided.
However, a gender-based insensitivity service is not currently in place in Australia, and it is unclear if the policy would be rolled out across the country in the future.
What does gender insitivity mean in practice?
Genderinsensitivity has a variety of applications in the Australian healthcare system, but one of the most common is the provision of gender-relevant care, particularly gender-directed care.
It involves a range in-person, virtual and/or online interventions that are designed to provide care to people of all genders.
These interventions include gender-awareness workshops and support groups for people of different genders, gender-reflective support and other services, such a gender sensitivity certificate.
“I can’t think of a better way to get the most out of gender in healthcare than to work together with those in our communities who have a unique way of living, working and expressing themselves,” Dr Kelly said.
“It’s an important part of how we build a community, and we need to look at what we can do to make it better.”
This article originally appeared on Al Jazeera’s website.