Press Release: Second Policy Roundtable
On Thursday, July 14, 2022, the Second Policy Roundtable of Transcare was implemented. The Policy Roundtable was held under the coordination of the Medical Association of Athens, engaging representatives from public healthcare institutions and representatives from Civil Society organizations.
The purpose of the meeting was to formulate proposals for the promotion of a public framework healthcare, which will support universal access to health services for all individuals, the management of discriminatory attitudes, and above all information, training, and skill acquisition of health professionals by providing specialized knowledge as towards issues of identity and/or gender expression.
These proposals will constitute the basis, together with the proposals formulated in the first Thematic Working Meeting but also the results of the project’s research, for the formulation of comprehensive recommendations policy to improve the access of transgender people to health services.
Throughout the Second Policy Roundtable participated:
- Nikos Dedes | President of Positive Voice, President of Greek Patients Association
- Eftichia Koukkou | Endocrinologist, Head of Endocrinology Department, “Elena Venizelou” Hospital
- Prodromos Pirros | Governmental General Secretariat Counselor, Member of the configuration team of the National Strategy about LGBTQI+ Equality
- Spiros Sapounas | Endocrinologist, Head of Readiness and Responsiveness of National Public Health Organization
- Georgios Floudas | Psychiatrist – Psychotherapist
On behalf of the Transcare consortium participated:
- Evika Karamagkioli | MSc “Global Health- Disaster Medicine”, “Attikon” University General Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)
- Elena Panagiota (Elda) Stoupa | MSc “Global Health- Disaster Medicine”, “Attikon” University General Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)
- Elena – Olga Christidi | Orlando LGBT+
- Filippos Paganis | Orlando LGBT+
- Christianna Gennata | Orlando LGBT+
- Georgios Keratsas | Positive Voice
- Victoria Topalidi | AKMI
- Evi Doumouliaka | HelMSIC
The Roundtable was coordinated by Lillian Markaki, Theodora Zacharia and Thanos Kalligeris, on behalf of the Medical Association of Athens. Discussion included issues related to education, accessibility, and equal treatment at the healthcare system, but also the legal and institutional framework of our country and the latest progress.
The key points of the topics discussed were:
- The need and intention to remodel the primary and secondary educational systems, about sexuality education, in order to include gender identity and sexuality topics. The need to include Comprehensive Sexuality Education in the universities’ curriculum was also underlined.
- The need to formulate policies for equal treatment of trans people at all levels. The systemic and educational gaps that make trans people’s access in healthcare difficult (e.g. misgendering from healthcare workers, problematic usage of diagnosis, pathologizing, obstacles in prescriptions) were also thoroughly discussed.
- At the same time, more existing “barriers” were also mentioned, such as the non-existent insurance funds for gender-transition procedures, the limited number of suitable public departments leading to the overloading of appointments and occurring of delays, as well as the lack of specialized healthcare professionals. Therefore, the need for creating specialized clinics for gender reassignment counseling was also mentioned, according to the standards of other role model countries.
- The need for the immediate upgrade of the entire health system in order for it to follow the new classification system of the World Health Organization, ICD-11, and the related adapting procedures for access to gender reassignment medical services.
- The issue and new law about transition therapies. The need for clarification of what consent is about, as well as taking into consideration the proper mental treatment of the patients was discussed. Accreditation of health professionals involved in conversion therapies by trans people themselves and appropriate training of psychiatrists and expertise in juvenile audiences.
- The unethical and abusive practices trans people, and especially minors, face when seeking and receiving psychiatric treatment services. In this context, it was proposed that the Hellenic Psychiatric Association could take measures for the appropriate training of its members.