Scotland announces ‘crisis funding’ worth millions for ‘broken’ trans healthcare
Trans healthcare in Scotland will get a desperately needed financial boost of £2 million in “crisis funding”, the Scottish government has announced.
The money for trans healthcare comes as part of the 2022-2023 budget, which was delivered to Holyrood by finance minister Kate Forbes on 9 December.
The £2 million for trans healthcare is part of an interim funding package that aims to relieve pressure on Scotland’s gender clinics while the system is overhauled.
Scotland has four NHS gender identity clinics: one each in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness for trans adults only, and one in Glasgow, which also accepts under trans 18’s as patients.
NHS gender clinics in Scotland offer counselling, speech therapy, gender dysphoria evaluation and diagnosis, hormone therapy, and referrals for gender-affirming surgeries.
Waiting times for a first appointment at a gender clinic ranges from 18 months at the Inverness and Aberdeen clinics to more than three years at the Sandyford clinic, well over the legally binding NHS target of 18 weeks for a first appointment.
Responding to the news of £2 million in crisis funding for trans healthcare, the Rainbow Greens, the LGBT+ wing of the Scottish Green party, told PinkNews that while the money is a good step, trans healthcare is in crisis.
“We’re really pleased to see £2m in crisis funding being dedicated to trans healthcare in today’s budget, but we also know that trans healthcare is broken and is in desperate need of reform,” a spokesperson said.
“We look forward to seeing this reform, which was a key part of the cooperation agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish government, and welcome this crisis funding which will make a huge difference to trans and non-binary people while the government works on getting trans healthcare reform right.
“This crisis funding and the upcoming reform show the huge impact that having Greens in government will have on the LGBT+ community.”
Trans rights have been hotly contested in Scotland, with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon vowing to tackle transphobia in the party and reform laws to improve the legal gender recognition process for trans adults.
Meanwhile a vocal minority of outspoken “gender critical” campaigners, including former front bench MP Joanna Cherry, have opposed reforms to gender recognition laws.
Today’s #Budget2022 announcement brings some welcome news – £2 million of crisis funding for trans healthcare ?️⚧️
This interim funding will help relieve pressure on the Gender Identity Services while the system is overhauled thanks to the Greens’ cooperation agreement ? pic.twitter.com/ep1CjuaBHP
— Rainbow Greens (@rainbowgreens) December 9, 2021
In a statement, Scottish minister and Green party co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “This budget delivers on key commitments made in the cooperation agreement between the Scottish government and the Scottish Greens, including making bus travel free to children and young people and doubling the Scottish Child Payment.
“Our plans will also see over £2 billion invested in tackling the climate emergency, helping accelerate a just transition to a net-zero economy and laying the foundations for a green economic recovery.”
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