Over a hundred protest at Loughlinstown hospital to demand better trans healthcare in Ireland

The protest organised by trans coalition Transgress the NGS took place over the weekend outside St. Columcille's Hospital, in Loughlinstown.

Protest for trans healthcare outside of St. Columcille's Hospital, in Loughlinstown.
Image: Via Instagram - @transpridedublin

On Saturday, July 22, approximately 150 people gathered outside St. Columcille’s Hospital, in Loughlinstown, to protest against the National Gender Service (NGS) and demand better trans healthcare and bodily autonomy in Ireland. Trans activists and allies called for the NGS to be dismantled and replaced with an informed consent GP-led model of healthcare.

People attending the demonstration carried trans flags and signs that read “Blood Tests Not Psych Tests”, “National Gatekeeping Service” and “HRT Saves Lives”. The protest outside the hospital where the NGS is located was organised by grassroots coalition Transgress the NGS, consisting of Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin, Trans Healthcare Action, Trans Harm Reduction, Small Trans Library and others that came together to demand “self-determined trans healthcare” in Ireland.

This in-person protest followed an email and phone picket organised by the coalition in May, when hundreds of participants sent over 450 emails to the NGS, demanding that they drop their policy advising GPs in Ireland against giving blood tests or prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to their trans patients.

While Irish GPs are able to prescribe HRT and carry out blood tests for their trans patients, there have been multiple instances of the NGS sending communications advising them not to provide such medical services. Moreover, the majority of GPs do not directly prescribe HRT to their patients, and instead advise them to go through the NGS.


However, trans activists have repeatedly spoken out about the decade-long waiting list that patients face with the NGS when attempting to access vital healthcare. According to Transgress the NGS, the only barrier to a GP-led model of healthcare is the lack of awareness and information of GPs which would allow them to be confident in directly prescribing HRT on an informed consent basis.

Addressing the crowd on Saturday, Bree, an activist from Trans Harm Reduction said: “It’s very common that we receive emails from people requesting safe GPs to go to for their blood tests. With that, it has become increasingly more common that some trans people are being refused access to blood tests, blood tests that are entirely within the remit of the GP to allow just like they would for any cis patient.”


Another speaker, Ky from Transgress the NGS, stated: “The NGS does not serve to provide access to gender-affirming healthcare for trans people, but to control and deny it. By intimidating GPs into refusing blood testing and hormone prescriptions, the NGS is attempting to cut off every other avenue for us to access essential trans healthcare so that our only option is its decade-long waiting list, at the end of which the NGS subjects us to invasive ‘psychosexual’ evaluations.

“This is unacceptable,” they added. “We are demanding self-determined healthcare through an informed consent model that centres our bodily autonomy. GPs should be able to provide this care without interference from the NGS.”

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