A Wholesome Health Care for Transgenders: Sex Reassignment Surgery

lgbti_

(Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Purva Shah and Mr. Poojan Thakkar, two final year MBBS students at Medical College, Baroda, India. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


After decades of keeping their heads down followed by years of protest, the LGBTQI+ community has finally found its place in the Indian constitution by revoking the fateful article 377, which criminalised them instead of acknowledging them. Having said that, the crucial question is, will society welcome the LGBTQI community compassionately, when the judicial system took almost a hundred and fifty-five years to give them recognition? Will this ostracised community be able to fulfil their basic needs, let alone receive equitable healthcare?

Transgender is an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match their sex at birth.[1] Transgenders have been cross-dressing and masquerading as the opposite gender since time immemorial but the first one to undergo medical intervention recorded in history is a German transgender named Karl M. Baer, who was born a male but raised as a female.

Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) consists of a series of technically demanding and life-threatening procedures which are unreasonably overpriced, complemented by a lifelong hormonal therapy. Out of 7 lakh transgenders willing to undergo SRS in the Indian state of Karnataka, only 200 were able to go through with it, because of lack of fundings.[2] Due to a lot of legal hassles associated with such operations, the few doctors in the country who have specialised in this field also shy away from providing timely and appropriate care to these patients.

However, the Indian medical diaspora is turning over a new leaf with the state governments in Chennai and Kerala providing SRS free of cost.[3] SRS is just one facet of the diverse health care requirements of people from this community. The medical and psychological conditions associated with transgenders is different from those suffered by the general population. Sexual assault and sexually transmitted diseases are very common amongst the people from this community, along with a poor quality of life and depression.

Although transgenders who have undergone SRS face less social stigma, they are more prone to a variety of cancers due to long term hormonal therapy.[4] Since medical students are not exposed to such patients early on in their career, it becomes all the more difficult for them to understand and deal with such varied and divergent health problems. Hence, in order to provide better healthcare to transgenders a part of the medical curriculum must emphasise on the health care requirements of these people and thereby attempt to instil a streak of sympathy for them.

Government health budget for medical care must include financial aid for transgenders willing to undergo SRS and must also sponsor research in this field. In addition to the conventional female and male wards, a special ward may be created for the LGBTQI+ in hospitals. Counsellors must be available at hospitals to prevent mental illnesses and thereby strive to lower the suicide rates among these patients.

Starting with the eradication of discrimination and social stigma against these patients, we have a long way to go in providing wholesome and customised care to the patients from community “RAINBOW”.

References

About the authors

Ms. Purva Shah is a final year MBBS student at Medical College, Baroda, India. She worked under Dr. August Lynne for her distant paid internship where she collected information from previously published articles and standard books and developed new ideas related to lipids and minerals. She is the LORE (Local Officer for Research Exchange) in MSAI, IFMSA and the State Joint Secretary in AIMSA (All India Medical Student Association) for the year 2019-20. She is the medical head for a local NGO where they are trying to improve the health and sanitation of slum kids and have organised various medical camps for the same. She is an avid reader and an even more dedicated writer having been the content writer for Stemjar, an online information portal and having published some articles like a recent one in MSI40 (Medical Students International).

Mr. Poojan Thakkar is currently studying M.B.B.S at Medical College Baroda and S.S.G. Hospital. His hobbies include quizzing, playing sports and reading. He has secured top positions in quizzes of various specialties (Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Community Medicine) and held the leadership of the Sponsorship, Public Relations, and sports teams for his college fest. He has written case reports and presented it at various competitions. He has attended various conferences and workshops concerned with the skills in medicine and emergency. He has written many articles for the college newsletter and one of his articles has been selected to be published in MSI40 (Medical Students International).

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Sassoli: Migration agreement respects fundamental principles of Parliament’s proposal

Guterres: Security Council’s African alliances ‘needed and appreciated more than ever’

Cash-strapped cities must look to private partners

MWC 2016 LIVE: Industry looks to reduce mobile gender gap

Is our brave new world about to burst?

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Harvested’ rainwater saves Tanzanian students from stomach ulcers, typhoid

MEPs spell out priorities for the European Central Bank and on banking union

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Towards a European Republic

How technology can help India breathe more easily

Davos participants call for digital trade deal

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

An Eastern Wind

5 lessons from China on how to drive sustainable growth

We have a chance to build the gender-equal workplaces of the future. Here’s how

European Labour Authority ready to start working in October as decision is taken on new seat

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

CDU-SPD agree the terms for EU’s Banking Union

The DNA of the future retail CEO

Could a Digital Silk Road solve the Belt and Road’s sustainability problem?

Ebola in DR Congo: UN chief ‘outraged’ by recent killings of civilians and health workers

How can batteries become more sustainable? This young scientist might have the answer

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

3 of Jack Ma’s best pieces of advice

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Guterres underlines climate action urgency, as UN weather agency confirms record global warming

Why the answer to a more sustainable future could lie within the platform economy

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

The Chinese retail revolution is heading west

Erdogan’s electoral win on a ‘me or chaos’ dilemma means trouble for everybody

This brewery is ditching plastic six-pack rings to save marine life

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

From social entrepreneurship to systems entrepreneurship: how to create lasting change

Would you let an AI vote for you?

It’s ‘time for concrete action’ says UN chief, welcoming inter-Korean agreement

To my Chinese friend

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Do we have to choose between creating jobs and protecting the climate?

5 ways students can graduate fully qualified for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

India is investing more money in solar power than coal for first time

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

Four ways Europe can become a global innovation leader

Three steps to clean up electric vehicle supply chains

A giant marine heatwave has descended on Alaska

Haiti: ‘Laden with challenges’ but also hope, Mission chief tells Security Council

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s