Written answers

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Department of Health

General Practitioner Services

Photo of Emer HigginsEmer Higgins (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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1869. To ask the Minister for Health if there are training schemes available to general practitioners regarding the care of transgender patients especially following gender confirmation surgery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19183/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The HSE National Gender Service provides specialist support to people who are seeking medical or surgical interventions to help them affirm their gender. The National Gender Service operates over two sites: St Columcille’s Hospital and St John of God Community Services.

Given the complexity of needs in many of the people who present to the Service, a specialised multidisciplinary team (MDT) is needed to deliver effective, safe, individualised care. The National Gender Service delivers this care via a Model of Care that incorporates a holistic individualised MDT assessment, support pathways, and gender affirming interventions.

The “National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019 – 2021” is the Government’s policy promoting inclusion, targeting discrimination, and improving the quality of life and wellbeing for LGBTI+ community in Ireland. Health is one of the main themes of the Strategy, and the Department of Health, the HSE and other partners work together to implement key actions for inclusion in this important Strategy. One of the outcomes to be achieved in this area is that healthcare providers and practitioners are trained to understand the identities and needs of their LGBTI+ patients.

The Irish College General Practitioners (ICGP) is the professional body for general practice in Ireland and is responsible for post graduate specialist medical education, training and research in the specialty of general practice.

The provision of comprehensive continuing personalised care for all, and the central role of the ICGP in supporting GPs to deliver this care is a priority. The ICGP core values foster high quality evidence-based care. This is supported by appropriate continuous medical education to help GPs deliver complex and comprehensive care to all.

The ICGP provides the following training for general practitioners in relation to the care of transgender patients:

- Transgender care is included in the curriculum for GP trainees.

- A Quick Reference Guide for GPs entitled “Guide for providing care for transgender patients in primary care” was published in January 2021. This guide includes information on post-surgery care for transgender patients and is available to all ICGP members.

- An ICGP live and interactive webinar on the topic of transgender health, available to all GPs including GP trainees, is scheduled for late June 2021. A recording of the webinar (with appropriate consents) will be made available after the live webinar for those GPs who cannot attend on the date of the webinar or who wish to review and revise their learning.

- Continuing Medical Education small group learning will include an education pack on transgender health later in 2021.

- An article on transgender health and care will be provided in the ICGP Journal Forum later in 2021. This ICGP membership journal is delivered to all ICGP members each month with a readership of approximately 3,500.

The above education and training initiatives complement the partnership for health equity content on caring for members of marginalised groups, including LGB and transgender patients.


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