Going to a doctor in the event of illness, accident or a health-related query is one of the most common ways people take care of their health. All health population studies show that men go to the doctor less often and later than women when a problem arises. This is not true for gay men in the Lake Geneva area who do go to the doctor often. The fact they are generally in worse health than men in the general population would seem to suggest a problem with the relevance and appropriateness of care.
Gay men go to their primary care physician more often, receive more ambulatory care and take more medication than men in the general population. This partially reflects their poor state of health and multiple health problems that are difficult to heal, but it could also point to problems in the doctor-patient relationship. It is rather paradoxical that people who receive so much health care would be in such poor health.
In all of the population surveys in Western countries, patients show a high rate of satisfaction with their primary care physician. Our results are much lower, which is a sign of trust issues in the doctor-gay patient relationship. Being able to openly talk about one’s life to a doctor and feeling understood are indispensable for appropriate care. You should always be able to talk to your doctor about your sexual orientation, your wishes and your difficulties. If as a patient, you cannot establish a trusting relationship with your physician or do not feel properly cared for, it is best to change doctors. Since 2017, Checkpoint has provided the services of a general practitioner.
doctor. Less than 40% of Swiss doctors have asked their patients about their sexual orientation or sexual behavior and less than 40% of gay men consider health care providers well-educated around the health problems of gay men. The situation is slightly better in the USA and Canada. Given the particular health challenges posed to gay men, these findings paint an alarming picture. The lack of communication over crucial life areas as well as the lack of specific training for caretakers are possibly a partial explanation for the poor health of these men.
50% of gay men would like access to services specifically-tailored for the gay community. Over 60% of gay men say they would like access to gay or gay-friendly health care providers. This is one of the findings that led to the creation of the gay-friendly health providers list and the Checkpoint health center.