In the backdrop of a High Court (HC) order, the Health Department Thursday issued an order asking all hospital administrators not to solicit gender information if not voluntarily provided by patients.
A circular issued by Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) noted that the move came in context to the observations of High Court and the applicability of Ethical Medical Practices.
“It is hereby directed that all hospital administrators shall sensitize their employees particularly those working in registration sections about the need not to solicit gender information if not voluntarily provided by the patient,” reads the circular.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Kunzes Dolma said that all aspects of gender equality, as well as neutrality in the functioning of the health establishments, should be strictly maintained.
“The Directorate is in process of conducting an interactive session with all administrators shortly to address this issue and is seeking legal opinion from all concerned stakeholders so that rights of privacy of all individuals is maintained,” she said.
The circular comes in the backdrop of a HC order in which the court had said that transgenders were entitled to same protection, medical treatment as any other person and had directed the government to ensure equal treatment to them. Few days ago, an abandoned transgender came to light in Srinagar after found lying on road revealing that the community is facing discrimination in the state adding to their woes. Officials in the health department told Rising Kashmir that the treatment must be offered right at the outset at all health facilities.
“Health professionals should be unbiased against people belonging to marginalized groups and must treat them with respect. They must steer clear from demonstrating shock, disbelief, ridicule and ensure that such a conduct does not seep into the doctor-patient relationship,” he said.
In the first of its kind move, DHSK in its health policy draft has proposed to improve the health services to transgender who have historically been alienated and ill-treated by the society.
“It is envisaged to bring transgender within the ambit of healthcare services and insurance to bring about equity and minimizing disparity among this socially excluded group,” reads the policy draft submitted to Health and Medical Education (HME) department.