Legal limbo pushes transgender people to unsafe medical services

Transgender people in Vietnam have struggled to access hormone treatment, psychological consulting and sex reassignment surgery due to lack of a transgender law, despite one being discussed four years ago.

Legal limbo pushes transgender people to unsafe medical services hinh anh 1

Transgender people join Hanoi Pride parade – an annual event celebrating gender diversity. (Photo courtesy of Hanoi Pride)

Transgender people in Vietnam have struggled to access hormone treatment, psychological consulting and sex reassignment surgery due to lack of a transgender law, despite one being discussed four years ago.

Representatives from Ministry of Health (MoH), the Institute for Legislative Studies under National Assembly and Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) voiced the warning at a conference on transgender rights on December 3.

They said an estimated 500,000 Vietnamese transgender people would continue facing direct health threats by using non-prescribed hormone replacement therapy and unsafe surgical services.

According to a survey of 150 transgender people in Hanoi, Nghe An and HCM City, only 7.1 percent have consulted physicians for hormone use while more than 53 percent have never had any psychological consultation to prepare for the treatment.

Hospitals in Vietnam are not allowed to offer sex reassignment surgery, so most transgender people have turned to other countries for medical interventions, mostly the neighbouring Thailand, a global destination for gender change.

Up to half of those surveyed said they did not have any post-surgical care.
Most of them sought information about gender-transition medical services from the transgender community.

“Although hormone replacement therapy is a double-edged sword, most of them follow their friends’ advice rather than professional consultancy,” said Pham Nguyen Ha, a member of the research group from the non-governmental organisation Information Centre.

Besides, transgender people face an uncertain future after undergoing sex reassignment surgeries including unemployment, harassment and discrimination, she said.

 

In November 2015, Vietnam made a breakthrough by recognising transgender people and allowing sex changes on legal documents.

The amended Civil Code, which took effect from January 2017, allows transgender people who have received sex assignment surgery to register as their new gender.

Despite this progress, a draft law protecting the legal status and rights of transgender people – both those who have undertaken sex reassignment surgery and who have not – has still not been submitted to the National Assembly nor featured on its official legislative programme.

“It actually offers us more time to develop and carefully evaluate the draft law,” claimed Dinh Thi Thu Thuy from the Legal Department under the Ministry of Health.

According to Thuy, the draft has some controversial contents that need further discussion, including only allowing single people to get hormone replacement therapy or those who have undertaken the therapy for a year to receive surgery.

“If transgender people decide to have sex reassignment, the process cannot be undone. These provisions aim to give them time to adapt, experience and reflect to clearly make up their mind,” Thuy said.

Sharing the concerns, Luong The Huy from the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), stressed the lack of policies and medical services friendly to the transgender community.

“Threats also come from unready healthcare and legal systems which do not create favourable conditions for transgender people to ensure their safety and obtain their rights, not just the gender transition process itself,” he said./.VNA

 
 

Other News

.
Social insurance policy - Welfare fulcrum of the people
Social insurance policy - Welfare fulcrum of the people
SOCIETYicon  01/06/2020 

On May 23, the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) and the Vietnam Post (VNPost) jointly organized the launching ceremony to respond to the month-long campaign that calls for people to participate in voluntary social insurance.

Comprehensive reform of social insurance propaganda
Comprehensive reform of social insurance propaganda
SOCIETYicon  14/06/2020 

The goal is to have 100% of officials, party members and employees be informed of the contents of the reformed social insurance policy.

Thu Thiem project: HCMC seeks to penalize violators
Thu Thiem project: HCMC seeks to penalize violators
SOCIETYicon  05/07/2020 

HCMC is set to report a plan to penalize 66 officials who committed violations related to the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in the city’s District 2 to the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee this month.

Hundreds of foreigners likely to enter HCMC for work
Hundreds of foreigners likely to enter HCMC for work
SOCIETYicon  05/07/2020 

The HCMC government has written to the Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security to allow 437 foreign experts, managers, skilled workers and investors to enter Vietnam for work.

Binh Dinh households face water shortage
Binh Dinh households face water shortage
SOCIETYicon  05/07/2020 

Thousands of households in central Binh Dinh Province’s My Chanh Commune have been living without tap water for years and must buy clean water for daily use.

Diphtheria vaccination to be offered for under-7 children
Diphtheria vaccination to be offered for under-7 children
SOCIETYicon  05/07/2020 

All children under seven years old in Việt Nam will be given free vaccination against diphtheria.

Vietnam supports Laos in education
Vietnam supports Laos in education
VIETNAM & WORLDicon  05/07/2020 

A new secondary school has been recently inaugurated in Bounneua district in Laos’ Phongsaly province as a gift from the Vietnamese Government, the Vientiane Times reported on its July 3 issue.

Da Nang: Nam O fish sauce making recognised as intangible cultural heritage
Da Nang: Nam O fish sauce making recognised as intangible cultural heritage
SOCIETYicon  05/07/2020 

The People’s Committee of Lien Chieu district in central Da Nang city held a ceremony on July 4 to receive a certificate recognizing Nam O fish sauce making as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Government Decree on entry and exit of foreigners into Vietnam
Government Decree on entry and exit of foreigners into Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The Vietnamese Government has recently promulgated Decree No 75/2020 providing details for a number of articles belonging to the Law on amendments and supplements and a number of articles

Over 70% of high school graduates apply for universities
Over 70% of high school graduates apply for universities
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

640,000 students who have just taken high school graduation exams have sent applications to universities nationwide this year according to the Ministry of Education and Training.

270 Korean experts enter Vietnam, work for LG Group
270 Korean experts enter Vietnam, work for LG Group
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam Airlines flight VN9417 carrying 270 experts from Incheon International Airport in the Republic of Korea landed at Cat Bi International Airport in Hai Phong port city on July 2.

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia July 3
Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia July 3
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam attends UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Pandemics and Security

Carlos Ghosn: Japan ask US to extradite ex-Green Beret and son over Japan escape
Carlos Ghosn: Japan ask US to extradite ex-Green Beret and son over Japan escape
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The ex-soldier and his son are held in the US for allegedly helping the ex-Nissan boss flee Japan.

Outrage as Indian judge calls alleged rape victim 'unbecoming'
Outrage as Indian judge calls alleged rape victim 'unbecoming'
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

An Indian judge is under pressure to delete comments from a court order that questioned the behaviour of a woman who alleged she was raped.

Winners of New Zealand scholarships 2020 announced
Winners of New Zealand scholarships 2020 announced
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Education New Zealand (ENZ) has announced 22 Vietnamese winners of the New Zealand Schools Scholarships (NZSS) 2020, with recipients offered 50 percent off tuition fees for their first year of study in New Zealand.  

Drug prevention forces try to combat new drugs and crimes
Drug prevention forces try to combat new drugs and crimes
SOCIETYicon  04/07/2020 

Colonel Vu Van Hau, deputy head of the Investigation Police Department on Drug-related Crimes talks about the drug crimes.

Save a cup, save the environment
Save a cup, save the environment
SOCIETYicon  04/07/2020 

Bringing your own reusable cup to buy takeaway drinks helps cut down on single-use plastic. But what if you forget to bring it one day?

Vietnam makes progress in public budget accountability
Vietnam makes progress in public budget accountability
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam’s Government and Ministry of Finance has made efforts to realise its commitments on public budget accountability and gained increased confidence from people and development partners regarding budget management,

Coronavirus: Texas governor mandates wearing of face masks
Coronavirus: Texas governor mandates wearing of face masks
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

Warning of some intensive care units nearly full, Greg Abbott says the outbreak is "getting worse".

Children need four diphtheria shots
Children need four diphtheria shots
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The General Department of Preventive Medicine has urged parents to be sure their children have a total of four diphtheria vaccine shots taken at the proper times. 

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN