Ireland ranks worst in EU for Trans healthcare

Malta secured the list's top spot, praised for its healthcare model that is "grounded in self-determination and based on informed consent".

EU member states, including Ireland, shown on a globe.
Image: Pexels

Ireland has ranked lowest in the EU for its availability and accessibility of Trans healthcare. This finding comes as a result of a study conducted by Transgender Europe (TGEU) that was published on October 31.

The organisation, made up of a network of 200 member groups, created a map showing the overall status of Trans-specific healthcare in EU states. Countries were evaluated through surveys and in-depth analysis of publicly available documents, and ranked based on the following six factors:

  • Type of Trans healthcare and coverage available in the country
  • Requirement for a psychiatric diagnosis before hormonal treatment or surgery
  • Waiting time for first appointment with a Trans healthcare professional
  • Groups excluded or made to wait longer to access Trans-specific healthcare
  • Youngest age for puberty blockers
  • Youngest age for hormones

For every criterion met, countries received two points. Ireland scored just one point out of 12 available for simply providing Trans healthcare, meaning it ranked lowest out of the 27 states evaluated.

It achieved the worst result for waiting times, having longer delays than any other country. In Ireland, patients can be forced to wait anywhere between two and a half to 10 years for an appointment with a Trans healthcare specialist, while in most other states, the expected wait time is less than a year.

Ranking just above Ireland is Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary and Greece, while Malta secured the top spot for its provision of Trans healthcare. Spain came in second place, followed by Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands.

“Malta has implemented a model of healthcare that is grounded in self-determination and based on informed consent,” TGEU explained in relation to its findings. “In contrast, many countries still require a psychiatric diagnosis to access trans specific healthcare. In Ireland, the system is bogged down by waiting times of over 7 years to see a healthcare professional.”

The organisation added that both the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have caused problems for Trans people trying to access medication and hormones. Additionally, the growing attacks on the community from anti-gender and far-right groups, have all had alarming impacts.


“While there have been important strides forward, there is much more to be done in the EU member states,” TGEU writes.

“Trans identities are no longer pathologised and being trans is not a psychiatric condition. Trans specific healthcare in the EU member states need to urgently reflect this and must transition to processes based entirely on informed consent, and ensure that it is equitable and accessible by individuals who are further marginalised by racism, poverty, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, ageism, and other forms of oppression.”

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