Delhi govt starts free Sex Reassignment Surgery in govt hospitals

New Delhi, Nov 26 : Upon the intervention of the Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal, Health Department Delhi Government has sent a circular to all Government Hospitals in Delhi to provide free Sex Reassignment Surgeries if they have a ‘Burn and Plastic Ward’ and a plastic surgeon, DCW said on Saturday.

The commission has termed this a “big” achievement as it has been pursuing the matter for several months with the Health Department. The Commission said that one of the most common issues faced by transgenders in the capital is lack of free Sex Reassignment Surgeries (SRS) in government hospitals and are forced to pay upto 10-15 Lacs for getting the procedure done in a private hospital.

In this regard, the Commission had issued a Notice to the Health Department, Delhi Government seeking information regarding provision of facility of free sex reassignment surgery in all government hospitals in Delhi.

The commission was informed by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, GNCTD that the facility of SRS was not available in Delhi Government hospitals. However, upon the insistence of the Commission, the Health Department had directed the constitution of a committee under the Director General of Health Services (DGHS), GNCTD to examine the matter and submit a report on the same.

After a notice was sent by Maliwal to DGHS seeking status of the committee, the Commission was informed that facility of free Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) has now been made available in Burn & Plastic Department of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi.

DCW chief Maliwal has again issued summons to the Health Department seeking reasons for starting free sex reassignment surgeries only in one government hospital and not in all hospitals which have a ‘Burn & Plastic’ surgery ward along with a plastic surgeon, as those are needed for the SRS procedure.

However, the Commission has now been informed by the Directorate of Health Services that the Government has accepted the recommendation of the Commission and a circular in this regard has been issued to all Medical Superintendents of Government hospitals in Delhi that clearly mentions that all Government Hospitals having a aBurn and Plastic Ward’ along with the facility of plastic surgeon must begin providing transgenders free sex reassignment surgeries.

“I am happy that after our intervention, free sex reassignment surgeries are going to be finally provided in Government Hospitals in Delhi. In private hospitals, the same procedure costs Rs 10-15 Lacs! Most transgenders cannot afford such huge sums of money. When all facilities are free in Government Hospitals in Delhi, why should transgenders have to pay for a procedure which is crucial for their lives” DCW Chief Swati Maliwal said.

–IANS

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