The Malta Independent 9 December 2019, Monday

Malta to offer specialised healthcare services for transgender people

Helena Grech Friday, 6 April 2018, 12:14 Last update: about 3 years ago

 

A consultation document was launched on Friday aimed at providing specialized healthcare for transgender people.

Health Minister Chris Fearne was quick to point out that while transgender people suffer the same ailments as anybody else, additional specific needs do arise such as hormone therapy and gender affirmation care.

Fearne said that the health department is keen to provide specialized training to Malta’s doctors so that they may provide the best care for their transgender patients.

He highlighted how unfortunately, many transgender people back away from seeking medical treatment out of fear that doctors will not understand their issues or out of a general feeling of discomfort.

Public health care consultant Natasha Azzopardi Muscat highlighted various aims of this consultation document, among them ensuring inclusivity for transgender people by all health care services and no discrimination or barriers.

In addition, aims also include developing services to help transgender people affirm their identified gender. This refers to the psychological aspect pertaining to the felt, internal gender of the person and the medical aspect relating to hormonal and surgical therapies.

Azzopardi Muscat stressed the government’s commitment not to leave any group within society behind when it comes to accessing healthcare services. She highlighted international research pointing towards transgender people being more susceptible to a lack of general well-being and suffering from feelings of anxiety and depression. She thanked officials from Iceland who spent a full three days in Malta to give an overview of their observations, approaches and findings from the specialised services provided by their healthcare system for transgender people over the past 20 years. 

The consultation period ends on 6 June and the accompanying document may be found online.  Input may be sent via email on [email protected]

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