LGBTQI community should be treated equally: Health Minister

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete with members of the LGBTQI community. Picture: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

MEMBERS of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities in Fiji should be treated equally like any normal human being when accessing medical treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or AIDs, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

He made the statement after LGBTQI community members raised their concerns with him yesterday, claiming that they have been subjected to discrimination while trying to access medical services at various health facilities in the country.

Dr Waqainabete said members of the LGBTQI should no longer fear under his administration.

“I can also feel the hurt when they shared their story this morning, for members of the LGBTQI they should be treated equally like any normal human being when trying to access medical treatment or screening for AIDs or sexual transmitted diseases,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“I’ve advised them if they ever find any problems, it is important that they contact me directly and I will take it from there, as the minister for health and medical services, I will make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Reigning Adi Senikau Queen Niko Naituku said they welcomed the news relayed to them by Dr Waqainabete.

“Now that he has offered to assist us and the most important thing is for us that action is genuinely taken because we are discriminated against every day,” Naituku said.

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