According to WHO, 50% of the world lacks access to essential health services and 100 million people globally are pushed into poverty trying to cover healthcare costs. Today, on World Health Day, we call upon world leaders to commit to advancing health for all by moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as pledged in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2. This will ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without facing financial hardship.
The term ‘universal in ‘Universal Health Coverage’ means “for all”, without discrimination, yet trans, gender diverse and intersex peopleglobally face social and institutionalized discrimination daily. This discrimination affects all areas of life includ stigma access to healthcare, housing, education and employment. Structural and systemic discrimination has an increased impact upon people of color, indigenous communities, sex workers, drug users, migrants, those in prison, homeless individuals and/or those living in extreme poverty, and D/deaf, disabled and neuro-diverse individuals.
This systemic neglect and intersectional discrimination results in high levels of poverty withinTrans and gender diverse individuals face widespread violence and lack of access to basic healthcare combined with the increasing rates of HIV infection in trans communities due to lack of primary prevention, places them at a significant disadvantage when compared to the rest of the population. Furthermore, access to trans-specific healthcare is currently pathologized, burdening trans individuals with ‘proving’ their gender prior to gaining access to transition-related healthcare. Intersex individuals face persistent human rights violations perpetrated against them in medical settings, which often aggravates ongoing health conditions while consequentially making access to further healthcare challenging or impossible.the global trans and intersex communities.
In order to ensure that Universal Health Coverage is achieved, all communities must be included in providing health for all. Involving trans, gender diverse and intersex communities in the design, development and practice of improving healthcare access is fundamental to promoting real change. This must be combined with the implementation of laws and policies that target systemic and institutionalized discrimination against these communities It is also essential to end forced and coercive medical interventions on and to recognize their right to bodily integrity and self-determination.
A commitment to Universal Health Coverage is a commitment to promoting inclusion and equality and ending human rights violations against trans, gender diverse and intersex people.