Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pakistani government has announced transgenders are now eligible for free health care

The Pakistani government announced that transgenders are now eligible for free health care.

Homosexuality, meanwhile, is banned and punishable under the law with prison or death.

Pakistan’s government opened a free health care program for transgenders earlier this month as the country’s prime minister said that they were “taking responsibility” for trans people.

Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that a government insurance program originally created for poor people would be extended to transgender healthcare.

The Sehat Insaf Card program covers health care costs of up to 720,000 Pakistani rupees (about $4700) a year for people who make less than $2 a day.

Now transgenders will not be asked to prove they have a low income to access the cards.

“Today, the cards we have given out is the first acknowledgment and a great step towards the transgender community, which had been long ignored,” said Khan when the program launched.

“Unfortunately, with a heavy heart, I have to say that people don’t have empathy for our transgender community who live such a hard life.”

“It is part of a grand program to provide health insurance not just to the poor but the vulnerable sections of society, including… transgender [people],” a special assistant to the prime minister told Reuters.

“Any body  identified  as a transgender is eligible for this health insurance program.”

Homosexuality, meanwhile, is banned in Pakistan and is punishable under the law with prison or death.