Even if the human right to health is universally recognised, some categories are often prevented from accessing it. This is the case of transgender people in Georgia, whereby the state does not provide national clinical practice guidelines for trans-specific healthcare or standards for clinical management of gender affirmation procedures. Moreover, such procedures are not covered by national universal healthcare, private health insurance schemes or other programs, making them unaffordable and therefore inaccessible to the vast majority of transgender persons.
“If you seek comprehensive and friendly support, you should try cooperation with this amazing team.”- Keti Bakhtadze, Georgian Strategic Litigation Lawyer
In 2019, at The Good Lobby, we connected Georgian strategic litigation lawyer, Keti Bakhtadze, and three international law firms. The law organisations have spent 140 pro bono hours carrying out legal research to support Keti Bakhtadze in taking the case of five trans persons before the Equality Body – Public Defender of Georgia (PDO).
In May 2020, the PDO decided that the state was violating transgender persons’ constitutional rights and should provide its citizens with quality health care and social security. In the light of this, the PDO recommended to the Ministry of Health to establish a working group to develop national clinical practice recommendations for trans-specific care and a state protocol for clinical management, which would outline both medical and ethical aspects of trans-specific healthcare, as well as mental and social support elements preceding and succeeding the medical procedures. The PDO also asked for maximum involvement of transgender people and other interested persons and organizations in developing the clinical guidelines and protocols.
At the present time, the Georgian Ministry of Health is working on developing a multi-sectoral task force to work on the clinical guidelines of trans health issues. A big win for trans people in Georgia and for all the disadvantaged categories.