Yesterday, HRC testified in favor of B21-168, the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2015 in Washington, D.C. The bill would ensure that medical and mental health providers receive cultural and clinical training regarding LGBT people and healthcare as part of their existing continuing education requirements.
“B21-168 would require licensed clinical healthcare providers in the District to include two credits of instruction on cultural competency or specialized clinical training focusing on patients that are LGBT,” Alison Gill, Senior Legislative Counsel for HRC, testified. “ Because the bill applies to existing continuing education requirements, it will not impose additional hours of training on any profession, not apply to professionals that do not engage in clinical care, and leave the designation of appropriate training to the relevant licensing boards.”
Councilmembers David Grosso and Yvette Alexander introduced the bill earlier this year.
“Culturally competent care is especially important for LGBT people, as they continue to face substantial disparities in health, resulting from the stress of pervasive stigma; substance abuse and other health-endangering coping strategies; a reluctance to seek medical care due to fear of and actual healthcare discrimination; and the disproportionate impact of sexually transmitted disease,” Gill continued. “Lack of fully accepting, culturally and clinically competent healthcare contributes to these disparities.”
If passed, the District would be the first jurisdiction in the nation to require LGBT cultural and clinical competency training for healthcare providers. HRC urges the Committee on Health and Human Services to pass this important legislation.