Posted on 5. April 2011 in Trans Health

Malta picture Valetta -City from Gentlemen for Gentlemen

Health care not a gentleman’s issue?
source: océan leroy


No surgeries available.

Malta continues to breach Human Rights of transgender people

Health Minister says there are no surgery facilities or health care coverage in the country. This is depsite the fact tha Maltese legislation requires sterility and heavy invasive surgery in order to change gender markers.

Malta is in constant breach of human rights of trans people. The Maltese Health Minister Joseph Cassar confirmed on a parliamentary question that facilities for gender confirming surgeries are not available in Malta. He did not comment on the question whether treatment (abroad) would be included in public health care schemes.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that countries have the positive obligation to enable gender reassignment surgeries (L v Lithuania) and to include trans health care in their insurance plans (Kück v Germany).

“The case law of the European Court of Human Rights clearly requires states not only to provide for the possibility to undergo surgery leading to full gender-reassignment, but also that insurance plans should cover ‘‘medically necessary’’ treatment in general, which gender reassignment surgery is part of.” says the Commissioner for Human Rights in his issue paper Human Rights and Gender identity”.

Malta needs to pro-actively look into the issues transgender people are facing such as lack of legal gender recognition, access to health care, ability to marry.

Just for changing the name, Malta requires its transgender citizens to psychotherapeutic treatment, evaluation by a qualified mental health professional, real life test, confirmation of outer appearance, hormonal treatment, sex reassignment surgery (SRS), permanent infertility. All of these requirements are in breach of the Yogyakarta principles. The Committee of Ministers stated that prior requirements, including changes of a physical nature, should be regularly reviewed for legal recognition of a gender reassignment, in order to remove abusive requirements. A legislative project to introduce the Gender Identity Bill as proposed by MP Evarista Bartolo and MGRM, the Malta LGBT Organisation, is more than over-due.

Malta is also breaching ECHR case-law regarding the right to marry as a pending case shows. A transsexual woman is currently denied marriage of either sex as the Public Registrar has successfully argued in Court that as a result of gender reassignment, she is neither fully a woman nor a man in spite of existing ECtHR case-law. The case is not in front of the Maltese Constitutional Court.

TGEU urges Malta to end its head-in-the-sand-policies and recognize its responsibility to enable its transgender citizens and residents a life in dignity free from discrimination. Malta is no island -it needs to implement quickly the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights just as any other member state of the Council of Europe, too. This means first of all adopting a new gender recognition legislation and respect the right to marry and coverage of costs for gender reassignment treatment.

Read more on the situation of trans people in Malta here.