NHS health boards that allow male doctors to self-identify as female, deter women from accessing medical care a survey has revealed.
The Times reports that the survey of 2,000 women, conducted by the Women and Girls in Scotland campaign group, revealed that vulnerable women felt scared and unsure about the implications of the policy.
The result indicated that women are deterred from visiting gynaecologists, or cancel appointments for smear tests and cervical cancer screenings if they cannot be seen by a woman.
One woman said: “I’ve already missed three smear tests because I am so scared of being presented with a male nurse.”
Another said: “If their definition of female and mine changes, it means that I’m unlikely to access medical care.”
NHS Lothian claimed that due to legal terms within the Gender Recognition Act 2004, and the Equality Act 2010, they would be unable to guarantee that female-only care would not be undertaken by a transgender doctor.
But a spokeswoman for Women and Girls of Scotland said that the policy “could prevent women from accessing potentially life-saving healthcare”.
‘Charlie’ from Fife said: “To be told that I can’t be guaranteed female-only care and I won’t be told when that might not be achievable – those are both real violations of my trust in the health service.
“If someone is telling me they’re female, when I can see that they’re male, I’m already thinking the worst. They’re already lying to me. I would leave.”