"There are concerns that the combined stigma of being transgender and having a mental disorder diagnosis creates a doubly burdensome situation for an already vulnerable population. This could, in turn, compromise their health and human rights," researchers said in the paper, titled Transgender issues in south Africa, with particular reference to the Groote Schuur Hospital Transgender Unit. "For example, transgender people may be more likely to be denied primary healthcare in general medical or community-based settings. This given the perception that they must be treated by psychiatric specialists."Despite provisions in the law, which recognise transgender individuals and also give individuals the right to change their sex on their identity documents, there are still hurdles in getting coverage. The Groote Schuur Transgender Unit provides gender reassignment options. But, the unit has a 25-year waiting list, due to lack of resources. The unit only assigns four days of the year for gender reassignment surgeries, according to IOL.
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