Transcare | Improving access to healthcare for transgender individuals

Transcare is a two-year project co-funded in the Framework of the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020), with a main focus on informing, raising awareness and training health care providers towards a safe and non-discriminatory access and provision of healthcare services for transgender individuals. The coordinator of the consortium and the implementation of the project is the Master’s Course “Global Health – Disaster Medicine”, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). The rest of the consortium is composed of 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. 

Transgender people worldwide experience substantial health disparities and barriers to appropriate health care services, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life and the treatment they receive. Acknowledging the discrimination they face as well as the inappropriate approach by health care providers, that violates their rights, the idea of Transcare was born. It’s a project co-designed by academic establishments, civil society organizations and representatives of the medical community, in order to showcase and engage in its actions representatives of the target group and also to ensure a more inclusive and efficient implementation of the project. The ultimate aim of the consortium is for the clinic staff to get in touch as much as possible with the reality and needs of transgender individuals and enhance their capacity, establishing a state of trust that is necessary in every doctor – patient relationship. 

Our vision is for health care facilities to be staffed by properly trained professionals, equipped with empathy and understanding of diversity, creating an ambience of acceptance and trust for everyone, regardless of gender identity and / or expression. Facilities in which 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. 

HelMSIC’s contribution

HelMSIC – Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee through the Standing Committee on Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights incl. HIV & AIDS (SCORA) aims to inform and educate young people on reproductive and sexual health and rights, as well as gender identity and sexual orientation issues. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the familiarization of future doctors with related issues at a national and international level, doctors capable of positively influencing people’s lifestyle towards healthy and safe sexual behaviors, who are comprehensively trained and remain free from attitudes and behaviors that may impede equal access to health care.

On that account, HelMSIC is one of the partners of the consortium. In contact with the rest of the partners, HelMSIC represents the medical students’ and future healthcare professionals’ point of view , who should be comprehensively informed and equipped with empathy. HelMSIC is responsible for composing a Dissemination and Awareness Strategy for the project, ensuring that the final outcomes will reach out to all of the selected stakeholders and that the vision of the project will be genuinely taken into consideration, bringing about changes that will be incorporated and implemented in greek healthcare facilities.

Stay tuned to our social media, as many of the activities to come require medical students’ active participation and contribution!

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