Malta’s PM promises free gender affirming surgery as part of sweeping LGBTQ+ rights reforms

Robert Abela gives a speech

Malta’s prime minister, Robert Abela, has promised reforms for the country’s LGBTQ+ community, including free gender affirming surgery for trans people. 

According to local publication Lovin Malta, the prime minster attended Malta’s Pride march in Valletta on 10 September to share news that the government is committed to carrying out these reforms.

In an interview with ONE Radio he said: “I believe that social reform gives the Labour Party its identity.

“My presence yesterday, as well as that of ministers and MPs, symbolises the messages that while we have done a lot, more is yet to come. While we’re proud of what we did, more needs to be done.”

The Labour Party leader noted the recent lift of a ban on gay men donating blood in Malta, and said the next step will be free gender affirming surgeries for trans people, as promised in Labour’s manifesto. 

Abela took to social media to announce the reform for donating blood in Malta.

In the Facebook post he said: “Today we will fulfil another electoral promise with new protocols for donating blood. 

“That way we will have fairer protocols that remove any form of discrimination with LGBTIQ+ people where the parameters for a person to be able to donate blood will be equal for everyone.”

He ended the message by saying: “Reforms remain at the top of this government’s agenda. Not least in the equality sector.”

Speaking to One Radio about the promise of free gender reassignment surgery Abela said: “They will be placed on the national health service, which means the state will finance the procedure.”

In 2019 Malta was named Rainbow Europe’s best European holiday destination for LGBTQ+ travellers, scoring an impressive 90 percent out of 100.

Belgium scooping up second place with 73 per cent, and the UK scraped in the top 10 in ninth place with 62 per cent. 

PinkNews has reached out to Abela’s office for comment.