Athens, March 29, 2023
Subject: «Restoration of the Hormone Prescription System (ARVEKAP) for Transgender Persons»
The Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), is a voluntary non-governmental organization that promotes the rights and freedoms of trans, gender-diverse and LGBTQI+ persons in general, as well as sex workers, with this press release informs and at the same time expresses its satisfaction for the restoration of the prescription system for gender affirming hormones for trans persons.
In more detail, the GTSA had pointed out as early as February of this year that for an unexplained reason – until then – the possibility of prescribing triptorelin, a preparation necessary for the gender transition of trans persons, had been prohibited in category F64, endangering their health from mid-January. In the following days, the GTSA acted immediately, submitting a detailed memorandum to the Minister of Health, Mr. Pleuris, to the Alternate Minister, Ms. Gaga, as well as to the General Secretary of Public Health, Ms. Agapidaki, on this very serious issue, holding them accountable , while after the issue was widely publicized, on March 6, a relevant question was submitted to the Parliament by 27 SYRIZA MPs, highlighting the urgency of the issue .
A week later, we were informed by the Ministry of Health that the problem arose because certain filters had been activated in the prescriptions, as a result of which the specific preparation could not be prescribed, while the temporary solution found (until a permanent one) was the endocrinologists to send a “pre-approval request” on an online platform, which would be reviewed by a three-member panel of doctors and approval would be given within 5-10 days .
But because, on the one hand, this peculiar method, on the one hand, created particular health risks for trans persons (interim period during which they would have to be without the hormones necessary for them, with the risk of serious health problems), on the other hand, because in most cases it did not work even this system and the problem remained without the possibility of prescribing, the GTSA insisted and after working meetings held with the represantatives of the Ministry of Health as well as with Mr. ProdromosPyrros, Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Economic Office, finally the issue was finally resolved, and now the specific hormone preparations (triptorelin – ARVEKAP) can be prescribed normally and without any restrictions to trans persons, as was done before, declaring category F64.
The Greek Transgender Support Association expresses its satisfaction with this development, however, we point out that because the specific hormone preparations have a high cost (around 200 euros), the post-prescription participation (25%) is particularly high for trans persons who they are largely excluded from the workplace and live on the edge of poverty.
At the same time, as we have clearly noted in our other press releases, trans persons continue to face very serious problems in the field of health care that require legislative and other measures to be taken.
For this reason and in view of the national elections, we set out once again the legislative and other provisions that are necessary to be taken so that trans persons have equal access to the health field with respect to their gender identity:
1. Amendment of the law on equal treatment so that gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics (as well as sexual orientation) are included in the provisions of equal treatment in the field of health and social security (law 4443/2016).
2. Amending the Code of Medical Ethics to include gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics in the non-discrimination provision (law 3418/2005).
3. Legislation for the full access of trans persons according to their gender identity to health services in a manner compatible with Law 4491/2017 in examinations / prescriptions / hospitalization that have a “gender” character.
4. Depsychiatrization of gender identity following modern developments (ICD-11).
5. Full insurance coverage of gender reassignment procedures.
6. Abolition, where it exists in laws, of the mandatory examinations, especially when it is foreseen that they will be done with the assistance of the police.
7. Provision for trans persons with immigrant/refugee status.
We note that all of the above are included in the Conclusion of the Committee that prepared the National Strategy for LGBTI+ Equality and therefore are now an obligation of the Greek state to proceed with the necessary arrangements. The GTSA continues its struggle until the necessary institutional framework is created that will ensure safe, equal, inclusive and non-discriminatory access to health for all trans, gender-diverse and LGBTQI+ persons in general.
THE BOARD OF MEMBERS
GREEK TRANSGENDER SUPPORT ASSOCIATION
15 ViktorosUgo, 10437, Athens
Trans Day Reception & Empowerment Center: Evangelistrias 6, Kallithea Athens, 17671
Tel. 210.9210 697 & 698 753 9741
Office hours for the public: Tuesday & Thursday – 12.00-20.00
firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com