Op-Ed Sheds A Positive Light On Medical Staff Attitude Towards Trans People

In an op-ed on Israeli social website Onlife, Inbar Ney, a transgender man, sheds a positive light on the current status of Tel Aviv’s Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center towards transgender people through personal experience.

Inbar Ney, 27, a personal trainer in Tel Aviv, was admitted to Sourasky Medical Center (also known as Ichilov Hospital) following a sudden severe infection in the intestines, which spread to the kidneys and lungs. “There’s no point in life that’s easy when one turns from a healthy person into an invalid and care-dependent. But when you are a trans man – that makes the whole thing a bit more complicated,” Nay wrote.

“For most of you, care and fair treatment from the medical staff goes without saying. Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to the trans community. Some doctors and medical personnel refuse to treat a transgender patient. They approach the patient by the previous name because that is what is written in their documents (and their documents are what count), they refer to you in the wrong gender and more.”

To Ney’s surprise, none of this was his experience in his latest admission.

“Much to my surprise, during the whole course of hospitalization, between the amounts of antibiotics, Oxygen showers and stacks of diaper changes, the medical staff treated me and my body with respect, did not approach me in the wrong gender even once, kept medical confidentiality as required and I didn’t have to explain anything to anyone,” writes Ney. “The attitude I got was lovely, warm, caring, and my heart went out to these dedicated staff members working under impossible conditions, with a load of patients, a lack of manpower and equipment shortage. These are simply holy angels who work in appalling conditions.”

The good news is that Ney came out of danger, is getting better, and also learned a lot from the experience. “When your good life is slipping from under your feet in a moment, you discover new things about yourself and the people around you,” he wrote.

“Now that I’m recovering and getting stronger, I would like to take this platform to say thank you to the wonderful team at Ichilov. You turned an uneasy hospitalization into something a little more bearable. All that’s left is the hope that one day this good attitude on the part of medical personnel toward the trans community will no longer be unusual. A decent medical care should not be the subject of an op-ed or a pleasant surprise, but a matter of routine.”

Dr. Ruth Gophen, a general physician who works with the transgender community, talked about the progress in educating the health system about transgender patients in an interview with LGBT website WDG: “For many years, Dr. Gal Wagner and I give lectures to health personnel on LGBT health care. As part of the lecture, we always emphasize the trans community,” Dr. Goffen says. “The lectures are given in hospitals, in clinics, medical schools, medical conferences, to school nurses and others, to improve the knowledge and familiarity of the various medical teams within the community. In 2016 we launched an LGBT medical association to promote the health care that is specific to the LGBT community as part of the Israeli Medical Association. We will continue to promote the recognition of medical personnel so that patients from the community are treated equally and professionally by their doctors.”