Hospitals should explore a system where transgender patients are allowed to input their preferred name, gender and pronouns into registration forms, even if the legal change has not yet happened, the health ministry has proposed.

The proposal is part of a new transgender healthcare public consultation document launched on Friday.

The government had said it was planning to introduce free gender reassignment treatment for transgender people “without delay” last August.

A spokeswoman for the Health Ministry said the process was delayed because of consultation with NGOs, clinicians and various stakeholders on the document.

The ministry also proposed that it will seek to provide specialised assessment and psycho-social interventions within a multi-disciplinary gender identity specialty service.

The consultation document pictures a trans inclusive healthcare system to organise gender affirmative healthcare for transgender people using an approach that tends to the physical, mental and social aspects of the individual.

Speaking at the launch, Health Minister Chris Fearne underlined the need for a change in mentality.

The process was still in its early stages, he said, adding that the most difficult part was teaching professionals to embrace the changes.

In healthcare, some transgender people were wary of receiving healthcare for fear of discrimination, consultant Natasha Azzopardi Muscat noted. 

The document was a steep learning curve, she added, saying there was not a lot of local research for the team to rely on. 

The public consultation is open until June 6.

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