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Trans people flock to Malta’s new gender clinic

Trans people flock to Malta’s new gender clinic

Chris Fearne address media holding a policy document at the new gender clinic

About 35 people have accessed the services at Malta’s new gender clinic since it opened in mid-November.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne, said the clinic was opened to allow all people in Malta to have universal health care.

The Mtarfa Health Clinic started offering specialized gender services from 14 November, 2018. The clinic provides a holistic approach for patients. Its services include multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, and social workers.

People will be able to access hormone therapy and surgery at the clinic. Other services include gynaecology, urology, reproductive care and speech therapy.

Malta’s government decided to open the clinic after an extensive public consultation process earlier in 2018.

To access the services a person must have a referral from their family doctor, a hospital specialist, social worker or psychologist.

Malta is a small Mediterranean island with a population of about 460,300 people. It is often regarded as a world leader on LGBTI issues.

It topped the ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) Rainbow Europe map for two years running. ILGA-Europe ranked a total of 49 countries for its annual review of the human rights situation of LGBTI people.

Malta recognizes same-sex marriages and has introduced laws making it illegal to practice conversion therapy.

In 2017, it vowed to make gender affirming surgery free for all trans people. While it has yet to action that promise, it said it was still consulting with relevant stakeholders to make sure its policies were accurate.