Despite the fact that there has been highly increased demand from trans youth for trans health care services at the Child and Youth Ward (BUGL) at Landspítali hospital, the trans team at BUGL was disbanded earlier this month, Vísir reports. This decision was made due to both a lack of funding and staff.
This is also despite Iceland’s Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics Law, which in part guarantees such services be made available. In response, a petition was circulated by the National Queer Organisation imploring the government to provide the funding necessary for BUGL to be able to maintain its trans team.
“Earlier this year the team at the national hospital announced that there will no longer be a specific team at their unit due to lack of funding and staff that handle these services,” the petition reads in part. “Despite there still being basic services provided, it is incredibly concerning and alarming for trans kids and their families that the services are being reduced. This is in direct contradiction with the new Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics Law passed in July 2019 and is not acceptable.”
“The National Queer Organisation, Trans Iceland and Trans Friends have created a petition to Svandís Svavarsdóttir the Minister of Health, Alma Dagbjört Möller the Dictorate of Health and Páll Matthíasson the chief executive of the National Hospital, to encourage them to take immediate action and ensure the rights of trans kids and teenagers are protected,” the petition implores.
Yesterday, Trans Ísland delivered that petition to Páll, Alma and Ásta.
“We were very well received,” Trans Ísland’s status reports. “We hope that the government, supervisory authorities and service providers respond quickly and securely, and ensure the future for trans children and youth in Iceland.”
This final sentiment is especially important, as medical professionals who work in the field of trans health have repeatedly reported that such services save lives. An official response from the Icelandic government is still pending.
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