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Armstrong says there is need to end categorisation of healthcare for trans people as disorders

There is a need to end the categorisation of healthcare for trans people as mental and behavioural disorders, Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said.

Ms Armstrong was speaking after quizzing Health Minister Robin Swann on his plans to depathologise trans healthcare, following the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recent move to do the same. The Minster said a review of gender identity services was underway to identify a new model of care for transgender and non-binary people here.

“The recent reclassification by the WHO of trans and non-binary healthcare away from mental and behavioural disorders is a major step in eliminating the wrong perception some have around these conditions,” said Ms Armstrong.

“Members of the trans community have already faced underfunded services for many years here, with the need for specialist gender services having not been met. I was pleased the Minister confirmed a gender identity service pathway review group has been established, due to report in June on new models of care for transgender and non-binary people in Northern Ireland.

“I have also asked the Minister to meet with the Transgender NI group to discuss what is needed from this process. We have to protect and promote the rights of trans and non-binary people, and one of the ways to do that is by putting the people affected right at the centre of the new service models.”