Gay groups rate hospitals, doctors

Nov. 28, 2006 at 8:34 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. gay-rights organizations unveiled a healthcare industry rating system Tuesday.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association have developed a tool to rate the healthcare industry on how it treats its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients and to educate the gay community about what to expect from healthcare providers and facilities, the groups said.

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil-rights organization. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association is the world's largest association of gay and lesbian healthcare providers.

The index will help patients seek out gay-friendly environments, said HRC President Joe Solmonese, and give healthcare providers valuable information on how well they are serving their gay and lesbian patients.

"Given the patchwork of federal and state laws, it is our hope that this index will provide our community with the resources to make sound healthcare decisions for their loved ones," he said. "Too many times, a gay man has been unable to comfort his partner, a transgender person has been ridiculed instead of treated, or a lesbian mom has been barred from seeing her child at the hospital. We believe this project will create a 'patient's bill of rights' for (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) Americans so we no longer have to live in fear of these scenarios."

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