The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

PN says yes to state-funded assistance for transgender surgical, hormone treatment

Julian Bonnici and Joanna Demarco Sunday, 12 March 2017, 08:15 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Nationalist Party is categorically in favour of state-funded assistance for surgical and hormone treatment for transgender individuals. When contacted, both Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil and Shadow Health Minister Claudette Buttigieg told The Malta Independent that they are “all for it” and would be making their proposals “when the time comes.”

The cost of Gender Reassignment surgery can fall well into the bracket of €20,000 to €30,000, with hormones costing on average between €400 - €800 a year.

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In fact, the struggle to afford such medical treatment is the prime reason behind PN’s support for state-funded assistance. “The main reason why [we are] in favour is because we know of transgender persons who could not afford the treatment and ended up getting involved in prostitution or drug trafficking to finance their medical interventions,” Dr Busuttil and Dr Buttigieg said.

The Malta Independent on Sunday last week quoted Health Minister Chris Fearne saying that the Cabinet will be hearing a proposal for the inclusion of surgical treatment and hormone therapy for transgender persons on the National Health Service in the coming weeks.

Nationalist Party Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami has also stated his approval towards the initiative, telling The Malta Independent on Sunday that he believes that, “The National Health Service is there to serve all people irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The sentiment was echoed by PN candidate Salvu Mallia, who told this newsroom that hormone treatment and surgery for transgender people should be available through the National Health Service, if the State budget would allow for it. ”It’s a big decision that a person takes, and whoever decides to take such a step truly does need it,” he said.

The proposal for transgender therapy being provided by the state is a joint effort between Dr Fearne and Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli. Such therapy will also involve psychological and further medical support. Dr Fearne, however, could not guarantee that the proposed legislation will be introduced before the next General Election, and he could not provide more specifics on the proposal as the details are still being discussed.

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