Trans people told they are ‘too complicated’ to treat on NHS, politicians told

Joseph McCormick February 4, 2016
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Trans people living in Scotland still face long delays and discrimination on the NHS, politicians have heard.

The Scottish Equal Opportunities Committee has been told evidence that trans people have even been refused treatment because they are “too complicated” to treat.

James Morton, manager of the Scottish Transgender Alliance, told MSPs: “I have experienced, and so have many people, that change in the way that people are interacting with you when they realise that you’re trans and that change in the level of care and concern.

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“It’s more of a kind of ‘well, is this your own fault for having decided to transition, maybe you’ve kind of harmed your health and it’s your own fault’, clinicians outing trans people to other clinicians and not respecting people’s privacy, misgendering them and sometimes outright refusal of care.”

Morton went on to say that mental health service provisions for trans people are one of the most important things, which is failed by the NHS in Scotland.

He went on: “Say you are depressed after a bereavement or you’ve got some sort of social anxiety that you are wanting some cognitive behavioural therapy for, we have recognised that people sometimes get refused by their community mental health care provider saying ‘oh, you’re too complicated because you’re trans’ or ‘well, you’re trans so the gender identity clinic should be dealing with your mental health needs’.”

Morton said the amount of resources in Scotland given to trans issues was so minor that it could be doubled without having a huge funding impact.

He went on to call for gender to no longer be a required legal marker, in order to accommodate people who do not identify as male or female.

“The more than we can move to a system where gender is not made a required answer, the better,” he said.

A report from the Women and Equality Select Committee in the UK Parliament last month called for radical reforms to the UK’s gender laws – and strongly rebukes the government for failing to make progress.

The Parliamentary committee, chaired by Conservative former equalities minister Maria Miller, has oversight across all government departments on equalities issues.

After an inquiry on trans issues lasting several months, a report released today calls for drastic changes across a number of departments – from the healthcare system to gender laws to prison reforms.

In an exclusive interview with PinkNews, Mrs Miller said that transgender people were being “failed” by the law, health services and other public bodies – while the report itself directly accuses the NHS of breaking “legal obligations” to trans patients.

More: non-binary, nonbinary, Scotland, Trans, Transgender

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