Pakistan to provide free healthcare for trans people

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12/03/2020

Pakistan has extended a government health insurance scheme to transgender people for the first time, in a move aimed at ending discrimination in access to care, an official said. All transgender people are now eligible for medical treatment including reconstructive surgery under the scheme, which was set up to enable poor and marginalised communities in Pakistan to access healthcare. Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government was “taking responsibility” for trans people, who say they are routinely denied treatment and can face harassment or ridicule from hospital staff and patients. Hospital staff often associate them with prostitution and HIV/AIDS, they say. “It is part of a grand programme to provide health insurance not just to the poor but the vulnerable sections of society, including … transgender (people),” said Zafar Mirza, a special assistant to Khan, late on Thursday.

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