The new facilities feature ear-marked beds and special OPD timings.
Access to healthcare has been a challenge for the transgender community due to stigma and marginalisation has been a challenge to inclusivity in the healthcare sector in India.
In a development is being seen as a ground-breaking step towards inclusivity in healthcare, Kolkata's first In-patient facilities designed exclusively for the transgender community is now functional.
The initiative, started at AMRI Hospital, Mukundapur, will soon extend across other units in Kolkata, fostering a more inclusive healthcare environment.
The establishment of this unit is made possible through collaboration with Inner Wheel District 329 under the international social service organization's 'Rainbow for Inclusivity' programme.
The new facilities feature ear-marked beds and special OPD timings. The initiative also offers a range of additional benefits, including discounted OPD investigations, expedited admission processes, and a dedicated help desk. In addition to addressing common health issues, the specialized care unit will cater to the specific medical needs of transgender patients, including hormone therapy and surgical interventions.
"We are thrilled to be the first healthcare group in Kolkata to take this inclusive step, offering the best of our services to the transgender community. Understanding the social stigma faced by the community, we believe our inclusive approach will address their healthcare needs comprehensively," Rupak Barua, Advisor, Strategy and Planning, AMRI Hospitals said.
The key features of the Transgender Care Unit include complete privacy to ensure a confidential and private healthcare experience for transgender patients. It will be staffed by specially trained nursing staff dedicated to providing personalized care, understanding the unique needs of the community and earmarked beds, ensuring a supportive and understanding environment for transgender individuals.
Ms Dipannita Gooptu, Chairperson, Inner Wheel District 329, said that the seed of the idea came from noted danseuse and social activist Alokananda Roy.
"Since this is our centennial year, we decided to start the 'Rainbow for Inclusivity' programme, with help from Ms Roy. She introduced us to her adoptive daughter, Anuprabha, a trans-woman, and her husband, Bappaditya, and we spoke to them to understand their needs. Then we approached AMRI and received tremendous support from them, which has led to the IPD services being introduced here", Mr Gooptu said.
Ms Alokananda Roy, noted danseuse and social activist, said, "When Anuprabha suffered from dengue some time back, we realised the severity of the lack of proper healthcare services for the transgender community, as we faced a lot of trouble getting treatment for her. That's when we understood the need to have the support of a leading healthcare group like AMRI. The step that they are taking here is not just important, it will also go a long way in raising awareness about other hospitals to also extend such support."