Transcare: Improving access to healthcare for transgender individuals
Transcare:” Improving access to healthcare for transgender individuals”, (project number 881952), is a two-year project co-funded in the Framework of the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020), focusing on sensitizing and educating health care providers regarding a safe and non-discriminatory access and provision of healthcare services for transgender individuals. The consortium is composed by the University of Crete – Department of Social and Family Medicine, Colour Youth – Athens LGBTQ Youth Community, Positive Voice – Red Umbrella Athens, Orlando LGBT+, Medical Association of Athens (ISA), Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee (HelMSIC), AKMI and ReadLab – Research Innovation & Development Lab, under the coordination of the MSc programme “Global Health – Disaster Medicine”, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA).
Transgender people experience worldwide substantial health disparities and barriers with regards to effective and efficient health care services, fact that can potentially have a negative impact on the quality of their life and the treatment they receive. Transcare was therefore born as a remedy to the discriminatory patterns they might face, and the inappropriate approaches health care providers might have towards them.
The project has been co-designed by academic institutions, civil society organizations and representatives of the medical community, in order to engage representatives of the target group and thus ensure a more inclusive and efficient implementation. The ultimate goal of Transcare is to familiarize healthcare professionals with the reality and the needs of transgender individuals and enhance their capacity, in order to establish an appropriate level of trust, respect and mutual understanding, prerequisites for every health care professional-patient relationship.
The main activities of the project include:
- Assessment of the current situation in health care facilities of the country. The goal being to obtain data and information on the degree of familiarization of healthcare professionals with the diversity of gender identity and expression, as well as to record and showcase the experiences that transgender individuals share from health care facilities visits.
- Based on these data, educational material will be created, while information days and awareness events for health care providers will be organized, aiming to improve the services provided to transgender individuals and secure their rights.
- With the completion of the project, outputs will be disseminated and shared with from health care units and health care professionals across the country, contributing to the creation of an inclusive public healthcare culture health care that encompasses the understand the needs of transgender individuals and responds to them.
Our vision is double-fold a) empower healthcare professionals with knowledge and social skills such as empathy and understanding of diversity, creating an ambience of acceptance and trust for everyone, regardless of gender identity and/or expression and b) contribute in the remodelling of health care units in a way that transgender individuals will feel safe and confident about the services they will receive and will be able to express what concerns them, like any individual – equally and freely.