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7th November 2019 | Health, Press Releases

Decentralise healthcare for trans people to deal with delays and errors at the National Gender Service

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Commenting on the news that up to 100 patients of the National Gender Service in Loughlinstown Hospital have had their referrals ‘misplaced’, Robert O’Sullivan, Chairperson of the Queer Greens, the Green Party’s LGBTQ+ group, said:

“Trans people in Ireland have long known how unreliable the National Gender Service in St. Colmcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown is, and how unfit for purpose it is, but this week’s events prove it. 

“It’s common knowledge that to access gender affirming healthcare like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in Ireland, you’ll be looking at a wait of at least 18 months, with many people being on a waiting list for upwards of three years. Now we find out that at least 100 trans people were unknowingly on the wrong list for who knows how long. There is no trust in the healthcare system for trans people, and there’s no reason they should have trust in it, especially now. 

“It is easier, and more reliable, for trans people to travel to the UK and Europe for essential healthcare than it is to access what should be a straightforward service.

“Minister Harris and the Department of Health need to radically change the system, including a decentralisation from the Loughlinstown unit. The work that is supposed to be done in the NGS could easily be transferred to various public endocrinology units around the country, relieving the several year logjam and reducing costs for both the trans people who all have to travel to Dublin regardless of where in the state they live, and the costs for the taxpayer.

“The service the NGS provides is a simple one but an essential one for transgender people. Not having access to gender affirming healthcare can cause lasting damage for a trans person’s mental and physical health. Simply put, they can’t afford to wait three years, even if they are put on the right waiting list.”