The pandemic has obliged us to witness many faces of humanity, especially when it comes to saving one’s life. When on one part people are having each other’s back during the crisis, on the other hand, people are turning selfish and pushing each other towards death. And unfortunately, the victims during such circumstances are the queer and the color communities. Priority is being given to the upper classes and mainstream communities. Discrimination has reached to such extent that patients are fearing to go to hospitals and stay at home rather. But as said, mankind still has the softer side, and The Medical City (TMC), Philippines took the opportunity and extended their helping hands. They believe that quality health care should be accessed by everyone irrespective of their background, because why not, it is our fundamental right. One shouldn’t be afraid to seek help from the doctors or the hospitals when there is already a sea of deaths all around us. Hence, The Medical City (TMC) introduced its Centre for Gender Health and Wellness which is designed to provide a cut above gender-sensitive health care to members of the LGBTQIA+ to maximize not only their overall health but also psychological well-being and self-fulfillment. The launching date was this year on February 10 and the occasion was graced by Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos, TMC President and CEO; Dr. Rafael S. Claudio, Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Lizette Kristine F. Lopez, head of the Center for Gender Health and Wellness; Dr. Ma. Cecilia G. Vicencio, director of the Institute for Women’s Health; Dr. Christian Flores, director of the Wellness and Aesthetics Institute; Dr. Theresa Agcaoili, head of the Section of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine; Dr. Victoria Patricia C. dela Llana, TMC Psychiatrist; TMC doctors, staff, and guests. Miss International Queen 2012 and LGBTIQ+ advocate Kevin Balot. The aim is to make a person feel safe and an approachable place for the minorities.
There are enough stigma around the LGBTQIA+ community and even though laws had been made to protect them yet they are discriminated against and alienated by society. The new health center is a new landmark in medical health in the Philippines and surely will pave a new way to an inclusive world. This initiative will also endow the health care experts with more responsibilities and duty towards society. When asked about their expectations from this project, the team replied that they see a future where not only the entire LGBTQIA+ community would benefit but also the whole population, because as said before the zone would 100% free of discrimination. The center provides services and packages that are catered to the LGBTIQ+ community’s needs to aid them in actualizing their chosen gender identities. Its health care services utilize a multidisciplinary approach, involving primary care, mental health services (e.g., assessment, counseling, and psychotherapy), hormonal and endocrine therapy, gynecologic and urologic care, reproductive options, and surgical treatments, as needed. It also offers different programs and services that aim to provide members and families of the LGBTIQ+ community the proper care that they need to support them as they go along in their journeys.
You don’t need to doubt their capabilities, since they recruited experts who have specializations in endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and pediatrics. This also consists of a team that will help you with your tests, counsellings, as well as surgery related to sex-change. The center is located at the Wellness and Aesthetics Institute of The Medical City, a complex separate from the main hospital with its elevators and a relaxing interior. It provides a safe and undiscriminating space where individuals can access services on Sexual Wellness, Transgender Wellness, Hypogonadism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Fertility, and Menopause. It is nowhere to pave the way for individuals to make their gender their choice and for them to be able to transition to their preferred gender roles with the utmost care and support that they need.
The services come in packages and guaranteed that they are not complicated and easy to understand. They look after your sexuality and related problems like those of HIV/AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and viral hepatitis. But you don’t need to worry about their privacy policies. They promise that your secret is safe with them. They have various packages dealing with various problems and they only concentrate on the treatment of the said problems. Like that of The Menopause Package, where they check the root causes of the menopause- the hormonal imbalances and the diagnostics that will look after the hormone replacements and what can be done which can reduce the future complexities. On the other hand, The Transgender Package includes counseling and gender-related therapy, and if you are planning for any surgery, they are going to be with you from start to the end. On top of all these, they even look after your desire for kids, that is, fertility issues. Since we are mainly dealing with the LGBTQIA+ community here, hence, they will even guide you with the reproductory procedure, or help you connect with adoption centers as well. Patients can be referred to any other specialists as needed. All existing specialties are more than adequately represented in The Medical City.
Even though we have come a long way in case of protecting the LGBTQIA+ community, and yet we have a long way to go. We are in a state of crisis, and we got to have each other back. The world can take a lesson from The Philippines, a small Asian country, and we would be wrong to underestimate them.