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Trans health: 'Govt needs to look at the evidence'

Tue 1 Nov 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

With a new study into trans healthcare and wellbeing being undertaken in New Zealand, Green Party MP Jan Logie says the Government needs to be addressing these issues and taking these studies seriously.   A vocal advocate for transgender rights, Logie says studies such as these should have an impact on Government policy. “Government needs to be looking at the evidence,” she says “and the experience of vulnerable New Zealanders, as well as reviewing their policies against the principles of access and equity so they can ensure everyone has access to the healthcare they need.” Logie says that she and her former colleague Kevin Hague, “have been hearing from the trans community on this issue for years and pushing for more help from the Ministry of Health, for both physical and mental health support. “It’s really frustrating that there has been so little change.” She says for the Ministry of Health to adequately address trans healthcare “it will take continued pressure from New Zealanders, and us as Members of Parliament, so that the Minister and Ministry realises that this is a really crucial issue to the trans community, and an issue of basic fairness.” Earlier in the year the health select committee reported back on their response to LGBTI advocate Tom Hamilton’s petition asking “That the House urge the Government to take action to address the inadequate supply of publicly funded gender reassignment health services, including counselling, endocrinology and surgical services in New Zealand". In early September the Ministry of Health’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Simpson revealed that there are now over 85 people on the waiting list for gender reassignment surgery and taking into account the current rate at which these surgeries are being undertaken, those on the list for trans feminine surgeries are facing a wait of almost 50 years. “The Green Party along with the Labour party wrote a minority report expressing our dissatisfaction with the government members’ response,” says Logie. “This is now on the agenda for the cross party working group to follow up. “I will keep advocating for equitable access.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 1st November 2016 - 10:05am

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