Gay Doctors Ireland (GDI) has condemned recent remarks made by Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh on gender reassignment surgery for transgender patients as being “ill-informed and inflammatory”. In a recent Irish Times article, Deputy Walsh called on the HSE to stop funding gender reassignment surgery for transgender patients.
GDI Chairman Dr Conor Malone said that gender reassignment surgery is a perfectly valid and necessary medical procedure. “The procedure is a core treatment of a well-recognised condition and has been shown to greatly enhance the physical and mental health of transgender patients,” he said.
“The Irish and international medical communities have long recognised the necessity of providing this treatment. The medical evidence is unequivocal. Deputy Walsh’s claims that the surgery is cosmetic or elective are offensive and only serve to further marginalise vulnerable members of society,” said Dr Malone.
He added that the transgender community in Ireland is small, and that gender reassignment surgery is carried out in specialist centres abroad.
“This ensures the best medical care and is excellent value for money for the HSE. The benefits to patients, to their families, and to society are enormous.”
GDI said that Deputy Walsh’s opinions are “preposterous and unethical”, especially since “access to healthcare is a basic human right which has long been denied to the transgender community”.
“GDI supports transgender patients in seeking access to comprehensive medical, psychological and surgical services through the public health system. As taxpayers and citizens they deserve equal treatment,” he added.