Discrimination Faced by Transgender Patients

Obstacles to Healthcare for Transgender Patients

Nowadays, transgender people face many problems when they get sick and have to go to the hospital. Contemporary hospitals are not designed for this group, therefore, they can have many troubles there ranging from the unfriendly environment of a hospital and doctors who do not know the specifics of treating transgender people to the complete refusal of healthcare staff to treat a transgender on the basis of pure discrimination (Weiss & Green, 2014). However, apart from discrimination and stigma, the main problem the transgender people can experience when going to a hospital is the lack of knowledge and skills in healthcare professionals needed for treating transgender patients. The main reason for this is that transgender medicine is simply not taught in medical schools (Kosenko, Rintamaki, Raney, & Maness, 2013).

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Another obstacle that transgender people have to deal with in medical institutions is the lack of financial support in the form of health insurance. However, reportedly, this problem is now being resolved (Weiss & Green, 2014). Other obstacles that transgender patients can experience include the lack of cultural knowledge from the side of healthcare personnel, socioeconomic obstacles of various characters, and issues with medical documentation and electronic records.

In addition, discrimination against transgender people may take different forms. It can be direct, indirect, and subtle. A vivid example of direct discrimination is the denial of health insurance coverage to transgender people for some healthcare services. An example of indirect discrimination is as follows: a physician refers to a transgender patient to a surgeon for an operation in the same hospital. The surgeon performs the operation but tells the physician not to refer to him transgender patients in the future. Thus, he creates indirect discrimination (Chipkin & Kim, 2017). Finally, subtle discrimination is when a physician refers a transgender patient to another physician saying that he is not qualified enough or providing some other reason, thereby hinting that they do not want to deal with such a patient.

Apart from discrimination, there are other forms of stigma with which transgender patients have to deal, including prejudice and even violence. As for prejudice, many people have a negative attitude towards transgender representatives. Fortunately, cases of violence are rare, but there must be none (Weiss & Green, 2014).

How to Improve the Situation?

In order to improve the situation for transgender patients, first of all, it is imperative to get acquainted with their culture and physiology. This can be achieved by incorporating the study of transgender medicine into the curricula of all medical schools. Second, it is crucial to address this problem at a governmental level by introducing laws and creating programs focused on the improvement of the lives of transgender people (Kosenko et al., 2013).

As for medical documentation, all healthcare providers must use correct pronouns that would reflect the identity of a transgender patient. When communicating with a transgender patient, a healthcare professional must not show any sign of reproach, disrespect, or discrimination, even if they have some issues with that matter. Otherwise, the trust between a transgender patient and a healthcare provider will be compromised. In addition, after various negative encounters with healthcare professionals in the past, a lot of transgender representatives are reluctant to disclose their personal information required for proper healthcare being afraid of denial of care, rejection, stigma, and discrimination (Chipkin & Kim, 2017). Thus, it is crucial for healthcare providers to establish good communication with transgender patients.

One more important component that should be taken into consideration is confidentiality. In terms of this issue, healthcare providers must assure transgender people that their personal information is private and will not be revealed without their consent. In addition, despite the American Medical Association denying the limitation of health insurance on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, this kind of discrimination is still in effect (Chipkin & Kim, 2017). Additionally, despite all the achievements in this sphere, the complete elimination of discrimination and the overall acceptance of such minorities as transgender people will unlikely happen soon.

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References

Chipkin, S. R., & Kim, F. (2017). Ten most important things to know about caring for transgender patients. The American Journal of Medicine, 130(11), 1238-1245.

Kosenko, K., Rintamaki, L., Raney, S., & Maness, K. (2013). Transgender patient perceptions of stigma in health care contexts. Medical Care, 51(9), 819-822.

Weiss, E., & Green, J. (2014). Transgender patients care. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 211(2), 185-186.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, November 7). Discrimination Faced by Transgender Patients. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/discrimination-faced-by-transgender-patients/

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Discrimination Faced by Transgender Patients." November 7, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/discrimination-faced-by-transgender-patients/.

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