Today, October 11, a total of 19 Irish and international organisations joined forces to pen an open letter to the HSE, demanding a model of trans healthcare that is in line with human rights standards. The letter comes after the HSE posted a job search looking for a Clinical Lead for Transgender Healthcare Services.
The 19 organisations that signed the letter to the HSE include Trans Healthcare Action, TENI, Dublin Pride, Trans & Intersex Pride, the European Professional Association for Transgender Health, GATE: Global Action for Trans Equality, Transgender Europe, and the Transgender Professional Association for Transgender Health.
All the signatories expressed concerns in noticing that the HSE’s posting for a Clinical Lead for Transgender Services, which will close on October 12, does not specify that the “model of care and implementation plan for transgender care in Ireland should be compliant with international human rights standards”.
The current system for trans healthcare in Ireland has been identified as the worst among all EU member states, according to a report published in 2022 by Transgender Europe (TGEU). Trans activists have repeatedly spoken out about the decade-long waiting list that patients face when attempting to access vital healthcare in Ireland.
As Niamh Ní Féineadh, a spokesperson for Trans Healthcare Action, explained: “Trans and gender diverse people in Ireland have to wait too long to access a system that when they do access it, violates their right to the highest attainable standard of healthcare and to bodily autonomy.”
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She continued saying that the signatories of the letter do “not want to see the HSE’s new Clinical Lead follow the NHS approach” established in the UK, which follows “a model based on gatekeeping that does not adhere to evidence.”
The letter specifies that the HSE should instead follow the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care published in 2022, which were not nominated in the job posting. According to the signatories, these standards describe “evidence-based best practices” and support “a patient-centred, informed consent model for gender-affirming care.”
Moreover, the LGBTQ+ organisations are calling on the HSE to involve the trans community in matters that directly impact their lives, such as developing a new model of care and hiring a Clinical Lead. According to the groups, the HSE has repeatedly failed to engage with the community in decisions that impact healthcare outcomes.
To read the full letter, click here.
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