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No, one Centre of Excellence in Transgender Care is not enough

  • Published
    5th Dec, 2023

Context:

Transgender people are legally guaranteed equal access to healthcare.

The Historical Struggle

  • Historical Discrimination: Transgender individuals faced marginalization and conversion therapy, reflecting society's discriminatory practices.
  • Legal Recognition: NALSA vs. Union of India (2014) granted legal recognition, emphasizing fundamental rights and healthcare for transgender people.
  • Legislative Steps: The Transgender Persons Act (2019) and Rules (2020) mandated holistic healthcare, sensitization, and equal opportunities in healthcare institutions.

Challenges in Implementation and a Step Forward

  • Existing Barriers: Structural issues impede healthcare access, with a lack of trained professionals and exclusionary infrastructure.
  • Private Initiatives: Some private providers offer gender-affirming services, but government hospitals, including AIIMS, have been largely hesitant.
  • AIIMS Initiative: The plan for a Centre of Excellence at AIIMS-Delhi is a positive step, addressing some needs but not a complete solution.

Moving Beyond Tertiary Care and Legal Imperatives

  • Misplaced Focus: The Transgender Act's insistence on surgery contradicts the NALSA judgment, leading to a misplaced focus on tertiary care.
  • Legal Recognition Concerns: Legal requirements for surgery hinder the broader goal of recognizing diverse gender identities without coercion.
  • Call for Inclusive Healthcare: Instead of a singular center, all government medical institutions should provide gender-affirming services, emphasizing inclusivity at grassroots levels
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