The first ever GenderGP Annual Review has revealed that a significant 80% of patients have their blood tests taken by their doctor, with the results being managed by GenderGP specialists. The service is now active in 28 countries.
GenderGP provides an affordable, timely service which allows people from all over the world to get safe, effective and compassionate gender-related healthcare and support. Working closely with family doctors, the service provides care that is joined up and cohesive – something which it has found to be key to keeping costs down for its users.
In countries, such as the UK, where a national health service exists, free healthcare at the point of use is a core principle. However, transgender patients often struggle to access timely care and treatment via their local healthcare provider.
In fact, according to reports waiting lists can stretch into years: ‘Transgender people face NHS waiting list ‘hell’. Sadly this is not “news” to the community, who face this struggle on a daily basis.
In the past five years, there has been an increase in the numbers of patients coming forward for medical help with their gender identity. There is little doubt that this has resulted in an increased amount of pressure being placed on healthcare providers some of whom do not feel willing or able to offer support.
While there remains widespread political and medical debate on the best treatment options, new and evidence-based guidance is continually emerging from experts worldwide, to support physicians in this field.
Looking at the UK, as an example, in her letter to the BMA back in 2016 regarding their response to the GMC Guidance for doctors treating transgender patients, Susan Goldsmith, acting Chief Executive for the GMC, wrote:
‘While GMP states “you must recognise and work within the limits of your competence”, this principle cannot be a bar to doctors taking on new responsibilities or treating unfamiliar conditions.’
She went on to say that,
‘…we don’t believe that providing care for patients with gender dysphoria is a highly specialised treatment area requiring specific expertise.’
It would appear that some of this messaging is filtering through according to Dr Helen Webberley, founder of GenderGP. She explained:
According to Dr Webberley, the state of healthcare for the trans community has to change. She refers back to the 2015 Women and Equalities Parliamentary Enquiry which found that:
‘GPs in particular too often lack an understanding of: trans identities; the diagnosis of gender dysphoria; referral pathways into Gender Identity Services; and their own role in prescribing hormone treatment.’
‘The NHS is failing in its legal duty under the Equality Act in this regard. There is a lack of Continuing Professional Development and training in this area amongst GPs.’
Dr Webberley, concluded: “It can be daunting to go out on a limb professionally to help any patient, but each and every doctor who has said yes to helping a patient during difficult, long waits for specialist services has changed a life.
”Trans people deserve the same access to healthcare as any other person. Gender care may be a ‘new’ and emerging area but it not going away. If publicly-funded health services are willing to help patients by arranging blood test monitoring and prescription medication, under the full supervision of GenderGP’s specialist team, private healthcare truly can be affordable and we can really make a difference.”
Any doctor needing help or assistance in learning how to provide care for their patients, should visit our Help Centre.