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Trans people let down by ‘unacceptable’ progress for dedicated clinic in Wales

Joseph McCormick January 20, 2018
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(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Getty)

A top doctor has said that trans people are being let down by progress on plans to open a gender identity clinic in Wales.

The plans to open a gender identity clinic (GIC) were announced in August by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has said that there are doubts that a full GIC service will be provided.

A doctor giving the uncomfortable news (stevanovicigor)
A doctor talks to her patient (stevanovicigor)

But the Welsh Government has emphasised its commitment to the clinic.

Transgender patients in Wales are currently referred to the GIC in London.

But announcing the plans, Mr Gething said the new clinic would reduce costs and allow access to services closer to home.

The BMA’s Welsh General Practitioners Committee has said there has been “unacceptable behaviour” by those in charge of organising the facility.

The GPC Wales chair, Dr Charlotte Jones, said there had been a “loss of confidence” that a full and proper service will be provided by the new clinic.

(Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Speaking at a conference in Chester, Dr Jones said despite a team of GPs interested in providing gender identity services, there has not been enough action to open it.

The doctor said that the Welsh Government’s Mental Health Directorate and the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee had messed around organisers and cancelled meetings.

“Despite continuing pressure from GPC Wales, there has been no progress and, worse, a lack of transparency and seeming ongoing obfuscation as to whether there is a true appetite for delivering this service,” she said.

Doctor puts on a glove

She added: “The time for engagement in good faith is over. Those involved in delivering the service need to take heed that an inferior service for the transgender community is unacceptable and not in line with what was agreed with the cabinet secretary, nor expected by the community and the GP profession.

“The transgender community and GP profession deserve better than this and will not accept less than this.”

Speaking to the BBC a Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to delivering improved healthcare services for the transgender community in Wales.

“We expect all those involved in delivering this new service to work together to ensure it is a success.”

Related topics: Cardiff, doctor, gender identity clinic, gic, Wales

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