Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is preparing a protocol for the treatment of transgender persons. The move for common guidelines to deal with the health issues affecting such individuals follows several instances of people unfit for gender change surgery undergoing the procedure and many of them facing an acute shortage of post-surgical treatment.
According to the proposed guidelines, sex change surgery could be carried out only with the clearance of two mental health experts.
The new protocol will be based on the guidelines issued by World Physicians’ Association for Transgender Health. An expert panel has been constituted by the state government to prepare the protocol. The committee is headed by Director of Social Justice and has experts from health, legal and social sectors and representatives of transgender persons as members. Recently, the panel held its first meeting.
Presently, gender transformation surgeries, which cost around Rs 5 lakh, are done only in private hospitals in Kerala. Under the proposed protocol, doctors at government medical colleges will be given special training in the procedure. Government Medical College, Kottayam, which operates a clinic for transgender individuals, has already submitted a detailed proposal to the government for the purpose.
Meanwhile, the National Health Mission (NHM) has suggested setting up of transgender-friendly hospitals in Kerala. According to the NHM’s recommendation to the state government, the General Hospitals at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad could be turned transgender-friendly in the first phase.