Reported by PinkNews – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
Transgender people are being put at a greater risk of self harm and suicide because of “unacceptably” long waiting lists at Gender Identity Clinics (GIC), a trans equality charity has said.
Gender dysphoria, the extreme discomfort a person feels when their gender assigned at birth does not match their gender identity, is not covered by the NHS’s 18-week wait time targets.
The Scottish Trans Alliance (STA) said there was a desperate need for the government to invest in trans healthcare, and that gender dysphoria needs to be included in the waiting time targets.
According to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC, at the start of this year there were around 2,000 people under the care of just four GICs in Scotland.
Of those people, 300 had been been waiting more than a year for a first appointment. In Edinburgh, the average waiting time for an appointment last year was 324 days.
GP says she has her “hands tied” when it comes to helping trans patients.
Edinburgh GP Dr Jo Gardiner told the BBC that services are overwhelmed and her trans patients are suffering because of waiting times at Edinburgh GIC.
She said: “They often don’t have the same support as other patients. Family and relationships break down when they transition so it can be quite distressing for them.
“Some patients are very isolated and alone and at high risk for things like suicide.”