Discrimination at State Hospital: ‘I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you!’

Source: “Devlet Hastanesinde Ayrımcılık: ‘ Durumunuzu tasvip etmiyorum, sizi muayene etmem!’” (“Discrimination at state Hospital: ‘I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you!’”), SPoD, 1 April 2014, Accessed 2 October 2014,  http://www.spod.org.tr/turkce/devlet-hastanesinde-ayrimcilik-durumunuzu-tasvip-etmiyorum-sizi-muayene-etmem/

Click here for an update on this event.

On March 31 at around 11:30am, a Trans woman who presented at the Department of General Surgery and was then referred to the Gynecology Department of Reşat Belger Göz Eğitim Araştırma Hastanesi (Eyesight Training and Research Hospital) was subjected to discrimination on the basis of her gender identity and the doctor denied her right to health care.

H.Ç., who underwent sex reassignment surgery at a [unnamed] private hospital a month and a half prior to the event, reported that she visited the Department of General Surgery of the hospital to get her prescriptions and that due to the nature of some of these she consulted the Gynecology Department following referral from the General Surgery Specialist.

H.Ç. reported to the gynecologist that she had her surgery at a private hospital and, as such, was unable to receive her state-sponsored insurance benefits. She said she wanted to use the prescription benefit of her state-sponsored insurance, which she could not use for her sex change operation. H.Ç. summarized her subsequent experiences:

“The General Surgery Specialist said that some of my prescriptions could be filled by the Gynecology Specialist and that, as such, I should register with the gynecology department. So I made an appointment with the Gynecology Specialist of the Hospital, Fatma Hut, and went to her office.

I told her that I had a sex change operation a month and a half ago and that I wanted to fill my 6-month prescriptions that were necessary for my treatment. I informed her that I was an SGK subscriber and wanted to take advantage of its benefits.

The following was our conversation:

  • Dr. Fatma Hut: It is not my specialty, I cannot do the examination.
  • H.Ç.: Why? You are the gynecology specialist.
  • Dr. Fatma Hut: I cannot write the prescription without an examination.
  • H.Ç.: Then do the examination. I have scars, write the necessary prescriptions.
  • Dr. Fatma Hut: You are a man, I do not condone your situation, I will not examine you.
  • H.Ç.: But I had my surgery by court order. I am a trans woman and you have no such right to do this! You cannot [choose to] examine people on the basis of their religion, gender identity, or race! You are a doctor and, just like anyone else, I am a patient who came to you. You do not have the right to discriminate against me. I will file a complaint against you.
  • Dr. Fatma Hut: Do whatever you want! Go and file a complaint to whomever you want.
  • H.Ç.: I will not let this go. You will answer for this. What is your name?
  • Dr. Fatma Hut: My name is Fatma Hut, go write to whoever you want, complain to wherever you want.

Because H.Ç. needed at least one witness to be able to initiate the legal proceedings, she went back to the doctor’s office the same afternoon and requested to be examined. She reported that she received the same treatment. Consequently, H.Ç. stated that she consulted with the SPoD Legal Network, that she had her statement taken and that she will be beginning a lawsuit.

The SPoD Legal Network will be following the court case.

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