Scottish Parliament launches inquiry into transgender healthcare

A participant is seen holding a placard during the 2019 Trans Pride march in Dundee.

Members of the Scottish Parliament have launched an inquiry into transgender healthcare provisions.

The Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses issued a call for evidence from trans people on Friday (July 5) as part of an inquiry into trans health.

The inquiry will have a focus on sexual and reproductive health services for trans people.

MSPs to probe transgender healthcare

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “We want to hear from trans people, health practitioners, and organisations that advocate on behalf of trans people.

“We’re interested to hear about any experiences of sexual and reproductive health services, where things can be done better, what went well, and what an ideal sexual and reproductive health service would look like for trans people.

“Trans and non-binary people are human too, and we need to ensure all services meet their needs.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP ALex Cole-Hamilton on the way to First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament on January 12, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP ALex Cole-Hamilton on the way to First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament on January 12, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Ken Jack/Corbis via Getty)

Scottish Labour Party MSP Monica Lennon added: “When talking about sexual and reproductive health trans people are often forgotten about, despite being a distinct group within society with their own specific needs.

“This Inquiry will allow us to highlight instances where trans individuals have trouble accessing PrEP or issues with reproductive health and look at what we can do to improve services.”

Nathan Sparling of HIV Scotland, which provides the secretariat for the group, said: “We’re grateful to be providing support to this important Parliamentary Inquiry, which will provide some key recommendations to improve access to healthcare for trans people.

“Globally, it is estimated that 16 percent of trans women are living with HIV, and we need to ensure that all trans and non-binary people can access services to help prevent, test and treat STIs such as HIV.”

The inquiry, which is open to public submissions, will run until September 27.

Scotland has seen political clashes over trans issues

Trans issues have recently become a flash point for controversy in Scotland, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon facing attacks from inside her own party over plans to reform gender recognition laws.

Last month, the Scottish National Party leader opted to order a second public consultation on the reforms, which had already been subject to an extensive public consultation in 2017.

Sturgeon told MSPs that the trans rights reforms are “a very, very, vexed issue where people feel very strongly and it is dividing opinion within parties and across parties.”

However, Stonewall Scotland warned: “Any further delay will allow more fear and misinformation to spread and that will profoundly impact on trans people’s quality of life in Scotland. Trans people have suffered for far too long from inequalities that can be easily removed. “