Lithuanian Minister of Health Discusses Gender Reassignment Legislation with LGL

On April 26th, 2017 Aurelijus Veryga, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, met with the representatives of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, including the members of the local trans* community, and the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) to discuss gender reassignment legislation in Lithuania and other important healthcare issues relevant to the local LGBT* community.

The meeting was aimed at discussing the distinction between gender reassignment procedure and legal gender recognition. Currently transgender persons, who seek to change gender in their identity documents, are obliged to undergo gender reassignment surgery. However, under such policy transgender people in Lithuania face discrimination violation of their right to bodily integrity. It also further worsens their psychological welfare. Therefore, the members of the local LGBT* community are working on changing the current situation of trans* human rights in Lithuania.

During the meeting, the participants also discussed the possibilities to provide necessary psychological consultations and hormone replacement therapy, in addition to other import issues.

“Persons who seek gender reassignment in Lithuania face many difficulties. First of all, these are psychological problems, discrimination, intolerance in the society. Most members of the local LGBT* community encounter these problems. It can have serious consequences for a person’s later life and sometimes can even lead to a suicide. Thus, the least we can do is to ensure the provision of psychological help and all necessary consultations,” commented Aurelijus Veryga, the Minister of Health.

The participants of the meeting at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania admitted that due to the difficult situation in the health system, lack of funds and professionals, discussions about the possibility of gender reassignment surgeries in Lithuania should be moderate. On the other hand, the participants agreed that health services related to psychological health and hormone replacement therapy should be provided to transgender people who are in such need. Public health is one of the most important areas and a priority of the current Government of the Republic of Lithuania, so it is necessary to broaden the scope of health services provided for all groups of citizens, and, thus, put a stop to high suicide rates and contribute to a more happier society.