For transgender people, healthcare can be an ongoing uphill struggle in many respects. What everyone really needs from their doctor or medical professional is to feel comfortable and supported, and if for any reason a trans person feels their issues are not being heard or understood, this can be frustrating and even dangerous. There are various changes currently taking place in the field of healthcare, and hopefully these areas will continue to improve in the coming years to minimise the unique problems facing trans people trying to access healthcare.
When it comes to bureaucracy, trans people often slip through the cracks and can’t be categorised in a convenient way, which can lead to all kinds of problems. We are now seeing more openness in the way data is collected and stored, and gender issues are allowed to be less clear cut than ticking a box for male or female. Increasingly incorporating different gender identities into official forms and records is vital for maintaining an accurate picture of someone’s overall health history.
The actual surgeries and clinics themselves that patients must visit to access healthcare services are also important when it comes to improving conditions for trans people. Gender-neutral bathrooms are a controversial issue for some people, which is holding back progress on providing this basic requirement, but in any case it should be a priority to ensure things like this make people as comfortable as possible when they visit the doctor for any reason.
Physical health –
Understanding someone’s background is vital to providing healthcare, and trans people may have complex requirements as a side effect of transitioning from one gender to another, or they may simply have different needs to someone else that wouldn’t be obvious at first glance. Either way, it’s important for doctors and nurses to approach these issues with care and concern in order to provide the best possible overall service.
Mental health –
For a lot of transgender people, societal pressures and traumatic experiences take their toll at some point. It’s much more likely that a trans person has experienced discrimination or marginalisation at some point in their lives, if not on a regular basis. This often increases the chance of them requiring access to top quality mental healthcare, and they certainly need to be treated with respect and compassion while being given access to all these services. Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health for all patients, and it’s understandable that many trans people need more help than others to reach this stage.