Transgender individuals resort to a vulnerable population that has issues in the framework of healthcare services. A lot of them are so afraid of discrimination that they delay visits to physicians until the last moment, which may have not just an adverse influence on their condition but also fatal outcomes. What is more, many healthcare providers are poorly educated regarding the characteristics of transgender people and their needs. As a result, they fail or even refuse to provide appropriate care. These and other related issues will be discussed further.
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Poor Access to Healthcare Services
Transgender individuals find it difficult to approach physicians because it is difficult for them to reach needed treatment. On the one hand, those medications that are required for them to maintain normal lifestyle are too expensive for them because they are often poorer than the representatives of the general population. On the other hand, they are often denied coverage because of the fact that they are transgender (Dupere, 2015).
Inappropriate Focus on Gender Status
Just as other people, transgender individuals tend to seek medical services for general issues that are not connected with their gender status, for instance, influenza. However, those members of the staff tend to discuss their gender even in such situations. They do not focus on the true health issue experienced by a patient but discuss the way his/her gender status affects their condition.
Transgender individuals often change their documentation in order to be treated according to the desired gender but not to the one assigned at birth. However, some healthcare providers violate their right to state who they are. Sometimes it is done by mistake but sometimes intentionally.
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Discrimination and Abuse
Members of the medical staff have more power than their patients when it comes to services distribution. As a result, they often refuse to work with transgender people. What is more, some individuals experienced physical abuse in medical settings, which made them unwilling to seek for assistance. Some of them also claim that medical staff intentionally uses incorrect pronouns and names when communicating with them.
Transgender patients claim that they often are put in hospital rooms with people of the opposite gender, which makes them reluctant to search for help. This issue occurs because some of them do not change their gender physically so that they can be housed neither with women nor with men (Ellin, 2016).
Misunderstanding of Needs and Experiences
A lot of representatives of the healthcare system are not really familiar with the lives of transgender individuals. They do not know their general experiences and peculiar needs, which affects the quality of services. In the framework of patient-centered care, it is significant to ensure that their identity is respected. Unfortunately. Many professionals are not aware of its peculiarities, which prevents them from providing appropriate care.
Lack of Research
In some cases, transgender individuals do not receive the care they need not because those members of medical staff who treat them are not willing to cooperate and provide appropriate care but because they lack knowledge regarding particular issues. For instance, they are not able to tell their patients if the intake of testosterone is likely to lead to the recurrence of breast cancer. Regardless of the fact that a few longitudinal studies that discuss this issue have been conducted, some professionals are not aware of them while others do not believe them to be enough to support or reject a particular idea.
Transgender patients need to be treated just like all other representatives of the general population because the right for healthcare is a basic one. Unfortunately, it is not possible yet, and a lot of issues are faced by them. Medical professionals should consider how they can improve this situation to reduce challenges at the hospital settings.
Dupere, K. (2015). 6 ways the health care system fails transgender patients.
Ellin, A. (2016). Transgender patients face challenges at the hospital.