A Patient's Healthcare Story

Uploaded by hrcmedia on 28.06.2011

My name is Cecelia Chung. I am a residence in San Francisco and I am also a commissioner
on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. I had a bad experience in Hospital with when
I first began my transition. I had really severe abdominal pain I went into Emergency
Room. They immediately dismissed my symptoms. I overheard their nurse calling me “A Drama
Queen” they did not give me any really complete examination and decided to discharge me. They
actually escorted me out with a security guard.
It’s a sad reality that LGBT people still face discrimination in healthcare. A study
by Lamda Legal in 2010 reported that 56 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual patients and 70
percent of transgender patients experienced so form of discrimination. These patients
are reporting being refused healthcare, blamed for their health status subjected to harsh
treatment and physical abuse. The fear of discrimination or discrimination itself lead
LGBT people to avoid seeking healthcare and as a result Healthcare disparities are rampant
in the LGBT community.
I endured another long week of excruciating abdominal pain I went to the emergency room
again to the same hospital. They found out that I actually had developed Gang Green already
at that point. Had I not gone into the emergency room at that eleventh hour I would have died.
There are things you can do to protect your healthcare rights: Plan ahead if there is
a hospital you frequent check out their Patients’ Bill of Rights if it doesn’t include LGBT
protections ask them why. Make sure you complete your hospital visitation forms and keep them
in a safe place where they can be accessed in an emergency. Complete advance Healthcare
Directives and make sure that your family knows your healthcare wishes. Also take a
look at the hospital visitation policies again, if they don’t include LGBT patients ask
them why.
I’ve become more proactive in my own healthcare. I decided when I choose my primary care providers
I made up some questions that I was gonna go through. I asked them about their experiences
in treating transgender patients and that’s how I was able to found this wonderful relationship
that I have with my primary care provider and shes been my doctress for over 10 years
I think it would definitely be helpful had the Healthcare Equality Index been around
at the time when I had all my challenges with the emergency room services. It would give
me the tool to really advocate for myself at the time when I needed it most. The message
to all hospital its really basic. They shouldn’t be looking at people because of their skin
color because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They should be treating
people because they are there to save life its their job. When they take their oath they
have taken an oath to save life.