Govt inaugurates separate ward for transgenders at PIMS
ISLAMABAD: Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen M Mazari along with Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Aamir Mehmood Kiyani on Saturday inaugurated the separate ward, first of its kind, for transgenders at PIMS hospital in Islamabad.
The new ward has been allocated for the transgender where they will be treated for free and separate doctors for transgender patients will be available, a press release stated.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shireen Mazari said that securing human rights of people was top priority of the government.
“The government is taking indiscriminate measures to ensure human rights and provision of basic health facilities to all our citizens. This step of establishment of separate ward for transgender has been taken as part of Transgender Law 2018,” she said.
Shireen Mazari appreciated Health Minister Aamir Mehmood Kiani for taking the step. She said all provincial health ministers had been asked to establish separate wards for transgender and ensure best possible health facilities.
Dr Mazari further said role of nurses cannot be ignored adding that those nurses and female doctors who faced any problem or harassment could call on Ministry of Human Rights’ helpline 1099 and lodge complaints to seek legal assistance.
The National Assembly in May this year approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 aimed at ensuring rights of transgender persons.
Under the law, transgender persons are able to register to obtain driving licence and passport. They will have the option to get their gender changed in the National Database and Registration Authority’s record.
According to the law, harassment of transgender persons will be prohibited in and outside their homes. They will not be discriminated against by educational institutions, employers, in trade and health services, and when using public transport and buying or selling or renting property.
It was also stated in the bill that anyone found guilty of forcing these persons to beg will be sentenced to six months in prison and served a fine of Rs50,000.
Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that transgender people could get national identity cards as a “third sex”.
Last year the government issued its first passport with a transgender category.
In practice however transgender people are often marginalized and face discrimination in education and jobs.
Many live in secluded communities and have no choice but to beg on the streets or sing at private parties to earn a living.