Healthcare access and safety are so quickly taken for granted, yet when stripped of these rights in any way, their consequences are detrimental. In this podcast episode, we delve into it and discuss the health sector’s experiences of people who identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community.
To shed some light on this subject, we chatted with Dr Cobus van Niekerk, who is based in Gauteng but has practised abroad for six years as well. Van Niekerk is a general practitioner interested in holistic wellness, aesthetics, and ethics. He is not only driven by the passion to make people feel better physically but also to positively influence the healthcare sector in South Africa.
He affects change by being on the board of the South African Medical Association and he was the former president of the Aesthetic and Anti-ageing Medicine of South Africa (AAMSSA), amongst others.
Stigma, bias and discrimination
In the discussion, Van Niekerk describes the discrimination, stigma, shaming, bias of health practitioners, and lack of understanding the LGBTQI+ community has to endure.
He outlines these experiences as problematic, as it limits or completely take away the constitutional right of an individual. Lack of or no access to sound health care negatively impacts the physical and mental health of the individual. Though there are spaces that ensure complete and safe access to health care for LGBTQI+ individuals, they are unfortunately still far and between, with most facilities being based in Cape Town.
In the podcast, Van Niekerk also discusses:
- That the only way forward is through education and a change of heart and mind; and
- How we can eradicate discrimination in the health sector.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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