According to one of the biggest surveys of homosexuals in England, researchers found lesbians, gays and bisexuals are more likely to have longstanding health problems and are twice as likely to have bad experiences with their general practitioners than their straight counterparts.
Researchers at Cambridge University found that 12 percent of lesbian women and nearly 19 percent of bisexual women had mental health problems, compared to six percent of straight women.
Eleven percent of gay men and 15 percent of bisexual men reported mental health problems compared to five percent of straight men.
The study also discovered that 50 percent of gay men, lesbians and bisexuals were more likely to have negative experiences with their doctors than heterosexuals.
The research compiled the data from over two million responses to the 2009-2010 English General Practice Patient Survey where 27,000 of the respondents were gay, lesbian or bisexual.
“The survey shows that sexual minorities suffer both poorer health and have worse experiences when they see their [general practitioner],” director of the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research, Martin Roland, said. “We need to ensure both that doctors recognize the needs of sexual minorities, and also that sexual minorities have the same experience of care as other patients.”
Public Health Minister Luciana Berger said the government must do more to ensure hospitals are LGBT friendly.
“Staff must receive training in the specific health needs to LGBT people,” Berger said. “And we must ensure that LGBT people not only have confidence to access services and speak to professionals about their health, but that they then receive the high quality care that they need.”
The Department of Health agreed.
“All patients deserve high quality care from their [general practitioner],” a spokesperson for the Department of Health said. “Regardless of their sexual orientation.”