On International Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Union of Students in Ireland says the Irish Government has blood on its hands due to the inaccessibility of Transgender healthcare in Ireland.

USI is joining trans and LGBTQ+ organisations, in calling for a complete overhaul of how trans people are treated by the health system in Ireland, saying it falls far below international human rights standards.

The current system sees trans people waiting up to five years to even start accessing care, and GPs are not allowed to prescribe hormone replacement therapy to their trans and non-binary patients.

A survey by TENI (the Transgender Equality Network Ireland) examining trans healthcare in Ireland found that 78 per cent of respondents thought about ending their life while transitioning or on a waiting list, and 40 per cent said they had made at least one suicide attempt.

USI Vice President for Equality and Citizenship, James Curry said: “The TENI survey, and numerous other research projects around the world, have shown us that transgender people who are not receiving healthcare or are left on long waiting lists, are very much at risk of self-harm and suicide. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember trans people who have lost their lives to this risk or to the violence that many face for being trans.

“We also need to continue to fight for better healthcare, so that our trans community can access the care they need. In the TENI research, 75 per cent of respondents that were able to access care said that starting their medical transition had made their lives ‘better’. Without change, this Government has blood on their hands.”

USI calls on the National Gender Service; Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly; and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, to implement the World Professional Association for Transgender Healthcare (WPATH) Standards of Care, which follow an informed consent model.

There must be a stark improvement in the standards of Trans healthcare in Ireland, starting with following the informed consent model and allowing GPs to provide Hormone Replacement Therapy to their patients.