Doctors are inundated with up to 300 patients a year seeking to change gender, including dozens under the age of 18.
Dr. Matt Barber, who prescribes sex hormones and puberty blockers for adults and children, said hundreds of transgender patients visited him every year at Stonewall Medical Center in Brisbane.
Dr. Barber follows “gender affirming care” – which is promoted on the federal government’s website, Health Direct – and advises health professionals that it is wrong not to support a patient’s desire to transition.
He believes that “patients are experts in their own bodies,” and when it comes to gender identity, it’s “the role of the doctor to inform them and help them understand their decisions.”
Dr. Matt Barber (pictured) says he sees up to 300 patients a year seeking sex hormone therapy or puberty blockers
“The vast majority of GPs in Australia have little understanding in this area, which is why people look for doctors who confirm their gender,” he said. The Daily Telegraph.
Trans patients exchange advice online about where and how to find GPs who want to quickly prescribe hormones.
But mental health professionals expressed concern about Australia’s more relaxed approach to medical and surgical procedures compared to other countries.
In a post on Reddit, one person said they were given a script for “gender-affirming” drugs after a brief visit to a walk-in clinic in Queensland.
‘[It took] about 30 minutes for the informed consent and prescription, and another 15-20 minutes for the pharmacy next door to fill it,” they wrote.
In the UK, doctors are bound by new national guidelines, which replaced the gender-affirming model for young people to explore mental health issues.
But in Australia, Dr Barber said doctors were free to operate according to their own opinions and beliefs and in simple cases he was willing to prescribe hormones in just two sessions.
He said nearly all of his annual patients — about 10 percent of whom were under the age of 18 — are neurodivergent, having been diagnosed with autism or ADHD — a pattern seen worldwide.
Dr. Baker, who uses gender-affirming care, said he typically sees eight to 10 new patients a week at Stonewall Medical Center (pictured)
‘It makes sense that people with autism are more likely to have gender diversity because they are neuroatypical,’ said Dr Barber.
“Gender diversity is similar in that sense because they are gender atypical.”
Dr. Barker said he saw eight to 10 new trans patients each week at the Windsor clinic, with the initial consultation starting with a discussion about gender dysphoria before moving on to the risks and benefits of hormone therapy.
Teens ages 14 to 16 need parental consent to begin therapy, but teens ages 16 to 18 can make the decision themselves.
Dr. Barker said the number of people who regret the decision to use gender-affirming drugs is “almost zero,” with most of his young patients waiting until they’re 18 to continue taking sex hormones.
He said those who made the decision generally have an “overall positive experience” and improved mental health.
Lists of “gender-affirming” doctors were shared on government platforms to allow trans patients to find practitioners using the health model.
According to Health Direct, people with gender dysphoria — distress or discomfort in their biological sex — “need gender-affirming care.”
Delays in doing so can exacerbate symptoms and lead to further deterioration of your mental health and well-being.
Leuprorelin (Lucrin) is a drug used to suppress testosterone levels
However, some mental health professionals believe that the government should take a more cautious stance on medical interventions for transgender patients.
Psychologist Roberto D’Angelo said he worked with several people who went through a transition in childhood but regretted it years later.
For many adults, mental health professionals do not need to be involved in the medical intervention process, but trans children should first be assessed by mental health specialists.
Dr. D’Angelo said some of the kids had only six sessions before starting treatment, and many of them struggled with other issues — such as social anxiety or family dysfunction — and thought changing their identities would help.
A patient he worked with identified as male and underwent a mastectomy, hysterectomy, and ovarian removal—only to regret it two years later.
He said she felt worse after the surgery and after realizing she made the decision based on other factors in her life at the time, she now identifies as a woman.
Jay Langadinos (pictured) claimed the surgeries left her with “injuries and disabilities.”
Daily Mail Australia has contacted LGBTI health organization ACON for comment.
The revelations come just months after a woman who transitioned to a man sued her psychiatrist after he approved hormone therapy after only seeing her for a single appointment.
Jay Langadinos filed a lawsuit in August with the NSW Supreme Court claiming she had suffered ‘injuries and disabilities’ after Dr. Patrick Toohey ruled she had gender dysphoria and signed on for her treatment.
She claimed to have met psychiatrist Dr. Toohey on May 7, 2010, when she was 19 after telling a doctor that she “always felt like she was a boy rather than a girl.”
She claims he approved hormone therapy and later approved surgery to remove her breasts and uterus as part of the menopause.
Ms Langadinos, now 31, claimed Dr Toohey’s recommendation was made despite him admitting she had a social phobia and not knowing that ‘psychological factors can influence the outcome of gender reassignment’.
She claims the surgeries left her with “injuries and disabilities” and is suing him for professional negligence, claiming he failed to take the necessary precautions during her transition.
Dr Toohey’s office previously declined to comment when Daily Mail Australia approached him.
The case remains before the courts.