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Trans Healthcare Action participates in Council of Europe event on trans healthcare

On 18 October, the Council of Europe held an online discussion on Advancing Healthcare Access for Trans People in Europe, which two members of Trans Healthcare Action participated in.

Throughout the event, we heard presentations from and engaged in discussion with medical professionals and activists across Europe. These presentations and discussions illuminated the wide range of experiences and models of trans healthcare throughout Europe.

The speakers shared details about countries that have enacted informed consent access to care for trans youth usually requiring only a brief consultation and endeavoured to train hundreds of GPs to directly prescribe hormone therapy. However, despite their progress, trans people in countries that are often regarded as among the best still faced issues such as waiting lists of over a year, insufficient staffing, and difficulties accessing government funding for healthcare.

On the other side, the discussion highlighted countries where trans healthcare remains pathologised, healthcare for trans youth effectively doesn't exist, centralised gender clinics use false information to harm and threaten other providers in an effort to exert a monopoly on trans healthcare, and reforms have been led by anti-gender actors who tried to exclude trans people from the process. Those with disabilities, sex workers, and asylum seekers face additional challenges.

Many of these issues are not dissimilar to what we are experiencing in Ireland.

This event will feed into a report assessing the gaps between the trans healthcare provided in European countries and Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5 on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, which includes that "Member states should take appropriate measures to ensure that transgender persons have effective access to appropriate gender reassignment services, including psychological, endocrinological and surgical expertise in the field of transgender health care, without being subject to unreasonable requirements".

If you are interested in joining further events on LGBTI+ healthcare in Europe, the Council of Europe SOGI Unit is organising a European Roundtable on Advancing Healthcare Access for LGBTI people on 15 November. You can learn more and register here.


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