Sunday 27 November 2022 05:02 AM Doctor sees up to 300 transgender patients a year at Brisbane clinic seeking to ... trends now
Doctors are being inundated with up to 300 patients a year wanting to change their gender, including dozens under 18.
Dr Barber follows 'gender affirming care' - which is promoted on federal government website Health Direct and advises health professionals that it is wrong not to support a patient's desires to transition.
He believes that 'patients are experts in their own body' and when it comes to gender identity, the 'doctor's role is to inform and help them understand their decisions'.
Dr Matt Barber (pictured) says he sees up to 300 patients a year seeking cross sex hormone therapy or puberty blockers
'The vast majority of GPs in Australia have little understanding in this space, which is why people seek out "gender affirming" doctors,' he told The Daily Telegraph.
Trans patients exchange advice online about where to find GPs willing to prescribe hormones quickly and how to ask for them.
But mental health professionals raised concerns about Australia's more relaxed approach to medical and surgical interventions 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 swapped the gender-affirming model for youth in favour of exploring mental health issues.
But in Australia, Dr Barber said doctors were free to operate under their own opinion and beliefs and in straightforward cases he was happy to prescribe hormones in just two sessions.
He said almost all of his annual patients - of which about 10 per cent were under 18 - are neurodivergent, having been diagnosed with autism or ADHD - which is a pattern that has been observed globally.
Dr Baker, who uses the gender affirming care, said he typically sees eight to ten new patients a week at Stonewall Medical Centre (pictured)
'It makes sense that people with autism are more likely to experience gender diversity because they are neuro atypical,' Dr Barber said.
'Gender diversity is similar in that way as they are gender atypical.'
Dr Barker said he saw eight to 10 new trans patients at the clinic in Windsor each week, with the initial consultation starting with a discussion on gender dysphoria before moving on to the risks