ISLAMABAD: In a very praise-worthy move, National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Federal Minister Aamir Mehmood Kiyani along with Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Saturday inaugurated the country’s first separate ward for transgenders at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
The new ward has been allocated for the transgender community that remains the most neglected segment of Pakistan’s society. All transgenders will be treated for free while separate doctors will also be available for their treatment at the hospital’s new ward.
The initiative comes as a requirement under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018.
Speaking on the occasion, the health minister said that it is a historical day as transgender people would now be treated as equals at least one hospital in the country.
He said that Shireen Mazari was specially invited for the inauguration ceremony because the separate ward had been allocated on her request.
The minister said that health cards would be issued till January, adding that the beautification of hospital buildings is not the actual issue but the provision of facilities is.
Kiyani announced that four new hospitals would be set up in Islamabad as existing health facilities are insufficient to meet the growing public needs.
Speaking on the occasion, Mazari said that securing basic human rights of people is the government’s top priority.
She said that the government is taking indiscriminate measures to ensure the provision of basic health facilities to all Pakistani citizens.
Mazari appreciated Health Minister Aamir Mehmood Kiani for successfully implementing her directives. She said that all provincial health ministers have been asked to establish separate wards for transgenders and ensure the best possible health facilities for them.
She regretted that no other health minister except Punjab’s had responded to the request promising to act accordingly.
Dr Mazari further said the role of nurses cannot be ignored adding that those nurses and female doctors who face any problem or harassment can call on Ministry of Human Rights’ helpline 1099 and lodge complaints to seek legal assistance.
A senior doctor at PIMS told this scribe that most of the transgender community suffer from deadly communicable infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDs, hepatitis B and C; however, they fear being humiliated at hospitals, they are reluctant to get treated and then go on to spread the diseases.