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Taoiseach says it's 'not satisfactory' that trans healthcare report hasn't been published

The National Trans Healthcare Steering Committee has raised concerns about the status of the report.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin (file photo)
Taoiseach Micheál Martin (file photo)
Image: Julian Behal via RollongNews.ie

THE TAOISEACH HAS committed to publishing a report on transgender healthcare in Ireland and said it is “not satisfactory” that the document hasn’t be released.

The National Trans Healthcare Steering Committee has raised concerns about the status of the report, which was submitted in February.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry raised the issue in the Dáil this afternoon. He said the delay in publishing the report and implementing its recommendations is “causing real concern and a degree of bewilderment in our transgender community”.

The Taoiseach agreed that it is “not satisfactory that the report has not been published” and said the delay cannot be due to the Covid-19 pandemic alone.

“A lot has happened since March and a lot of normal activity in terms of the way government departments are operating and so on has been put on hold in some departments, but that in itself is not an excuse for the failure to publish this very important report.”

Micheál Martin said he will “follow up” on why there has been a delay in publication. He also committed to publishing the report and ensuring an implementation plan for its recommendations will be put in place.

Noah Halpin, a member of the National Trans Healthcare Steering Committee, has welcomed Martin’s “call to action”.

However, he told TheJournal.ie it is “extremely regrettable” that the publication of the report has been delayed for almost a year “despite a three-year long waiting list for transgender healthcare services in Ireland”.

Halpin has sought clarity on the exact location of the report, saying the Department of Health and the HSE “are at odds with one another” over this.

“If it were not for the fact that I made the mishandling of this report public, I do not expect that the Department of Health would have made any meaningful effort to locate or progress the recommendations of the committee.”

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Halpin was appointed as the steering committee’s ministerial representative in 2019 when then-Health Minister Simon Harris established the committee to examine trans healthcare in Ireland and how it could be improved.

TheJournal.ie has contacted the Department of Health and the HSE for comment.

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Órla Ryan

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