Director of LGBT medicine hired for first time in Israel

Sourasky Medical Center announced on Thursday that it had hired a Director of LGBT Medicine for the first time in Israel's history.

The outside of the Tel Aviv Municipality is lit up to resemble the LGBT Pride flag. (photo credit: COURTESY OF TEL AVIV-YAFO MUNICIPALITY)
The outside of the Tel Aviv Municipality is lit up to resemble the LGBT Pride flag.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF TEL AVIV-YAFO MUNICIPALITY)

Sourasky Medical Center announced on Thursday that it had hired a Director of LGBT Medicine for the first time in Israel.

The job will help provide care for unique populaces such as geriatric LGBT, youth LGBT, those addicted amongst the LGBT community, research and more, according to Ynet.

The position will be filled by Dr. Roi Zucker, an expert in internal medicine and infectious diseases, who was sent on behalf of Ichilov to the world's first internship in this field at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

"The subject of LGBT medicine is developing in Western countries who understand that the LGBT community has special medical needs that require different approaches," Zucker told Ynet.

Studies show that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations, in addition to having the same basic health needs as the general population, experience health disparities and barriers related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression, according to the US' GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality. Many LGBT patients avoid or delay care or receive inappropriate or inferior care because of perceived or real homophobia and discrimination by health care providers and institutions.

Ichilov hospital and Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv. (credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/GELLERJ)Ichilov hospital and Sourasky Medical Centre in Tel Aviv. (credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/GELLERJ)

Today, there is still considerable ignorance about LGBTQ health issues, with many assuming that their health involves only HIV/AIDS. The full scope of the LGBTQ health agenda includes breast and cervical cancer, hepatitis, mental health, substance abuse, tobacco use, depression, access to care for transgender persons and other concerns, according to GLMA's website.