ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first dedicated ward for transgender people opened at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Saturday.
Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamer Mehmood Kiani flanked by Federal Minister for Human Rights Shirin Mazari on Saturday inaugurated the first transgender ward of the country besides the cardiac emergency, newly renovated Surgical Ward 2 and Surgical Ward 3. “Transgender community had equal right to access healthcare facilities,” Kiani said. All necessary medical facilities would be available at this transgender ward while more such wards would be established in other parts of the country.
The minister said the welfare of transgender was a top priority of the government by ensuring provision of free of cost medical facility for them at public hospitals.
He said the ministry has started restructuring of different health facilities and institutions to ensure provision of standard health services to the country people.
He added with infrastructure upgrading of health sector under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, visible improvements were made in public hospitals.
Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said the allocation of first ever ward in Pims was much needed for transgender community and would help end serious widespread ignorance, insensitivity and discrimination attitude of the healthcare, she expressed.
Most of the transgender community members, she said feel uncomfortable in discussing their status with healthcare providers. The trans-community, due to discrimination in access to healthcare facilities, are practicing self- treatment and self-prescriptions in the community, she added.
Earlier, Minister for National Health Services visited different sections of the hospital along with the Minister for Human Rights and appreciated the efforts of hospital administration for improving facilities for patients.
Kiani said that health insurance cards will be issued to 20 million people in the middle of January. Moreover by 2020 all the targeted people will get health insurance cards allowing them access to quality healthcare free of cost.
The minister said that transgender people will be issued health cards on priority basis.
Regarding pressure of patients on Pims he said government will construct four more public sector hospitals in Islamabad.
He acknowledged that Pims management has done a lot in very short time for the betterment of the hospital, which is laudable and other hospitals should follow it.
Kiani said that DRAP and PMDC are being revamped.
Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said: “I am very pleased with the work being done at Pims, Especially the establishment of wards for transgender people on my request is very reassuring.”
She said that provinces have also been told by the centre to allocate wards for transgender community. Mazari said that the government will cooperate in best possible way for the provision of funds to Pims, “I will talk about this in cabinet also.”
Pims Administrator Dr Amjad Mahmood said the hospital management will make it top public health facility of Pakistan in a year.
“In the last six months, we have turned this hospital into an institution, where patients can get free medicines and facilities exceptional treatment,” he said.
Dr Amjad Mahmood said that government should provide residential colonies, service structure and other incentives to doctors just like other institutions to make them work more efficiently.
Later the federal ministers visited wards and hospital’s kitchens, where they interacted with patients and collected information.