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The Third Gender Healthcare Challenge: One Old Issue that is hardly Talked About

  • June, 28 2014 -
  • After a long hue and cry, in April this year, the Supreme Court of India recognized the transgender as the ‘third gender.’ In addition, it is also observed that this segment of people have, for long, been neglected upon another front – Healthcare. In fact, their case should be referred to as ‘large and pronounced discrimination’.

  • Cases are being reported where doctors fail to decide whether to admit a transgender to ‘Male’ or a ‘Female’ ward and eventually, the patient dies not getting emergency medical aid. This is why most of the transgender deceive their identity while medical visits. This has initiated a very strong demand for creation of a ‘Third Ward’ in hospitals for the third genders.

  • Healthcare issues with the third genders have been endless. These people have been victims of rape and sexual assaults. And, after they reach for medical or police assistance, they have to face sarcasm and criticisms instead of help. Several awkward questions are put and finally medical help is denied. Even, the basic HIV medicines recommended to rape victims are also not supplied to them.

  • Sex trade is the other irony with the third genders. Whether forcefully or voluntarily, many transgender live upon this profession. The most critical issue is their state of health. It needs proper medication, sanitation, contraception, precautions, and cleanliness. The sensitivity of the issue is that in spite of chances of spreading HIV, there are more chances of receiving the virus from others.

  • The need to supply improved access to HIV service to this segment of the people has again surfaced as an urgent need before the system. And it is still yet to be witnessed what major steps the government is taking to uplift the situations of the third genders.

  • It is truly not require a 360 degree change. The basic improvement is needed at the humanitarian ground. Like every others, the third genders, too, are human being, very much a creation of the God. They do possess the same rights as the other ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ of the nation do. Then, why are they looked down, ill-treated, hated, neglected, and criticized – all the time?

  • It is the first good step by the government to recognize them as a third gender. A long road still lies ahead. Many good laws are needed to be made and the most important thing is to ensure that they are being followed.