• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Anas Sarwar urges Scotland to launch review on gender services

‘A strategy guided by clinicians was the appropriate course of action’

Anas Sarwar visits The Machan Trust to highlight the change Labour is offering communities on April 12, 2024 in Larkhall, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

SCOTTISH Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, has said that the country should do its own version of the Cass review on gender services, reported The Times.

Sarwar encouraged the Scottish government to detail its reaction to the report concerning the care of children experiencing gender confusion in England.

According to him, a strategy guided by clinicians was the appropriate course of action, particularly with growing concerns regarding the care provided to young patients at Scotland’s Sandyford gender clinic.

The Cass Review was commissioned by the NHS in 2020, after the service saw increasing numbers of young people seeking gender care and differing opinions among experts about how best to help them.

The study, led by prominent pediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, said that medical evidence underlying gender care for adolescents is “remarkably weak” and provides little clarity on long-term outcome.

The report concluded that young people with gender dysphoria – the distress of identifying as a gender different from the one assigned at birth – deserve better care but stresses that there is a lack of good evidence about how best to provide that.

Scottish Labour already voted for a bill called the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. This bill would let people change their gender on their own and let younger people transition when they’re 16 instead of 18.

Some people want the Sandyford clinic in Scotland to close because of the Cass report. But Sarwar thinks that wouldn’t be fair without checking things out first.

He said that if there are problems with specific services, they should be looked into. But he thinks the Scottish government needs to quickly figure out what they’re going to do about the recommendations from the Cass review.

The Sandyford clinic in Glasgow has been trying to find a doctor to run it for five months but hasn’t found one yet. The job was posted in November with a good salary, but they still haven’t found the right person.

The Scottish government has said it will consider the findings of the Cass review. However, ministers have not committed to implementing its findings.

Dr Jenny Cunningham, who worked as a paediatrician in Glasgow for three decades, said that the Cass report’s findings about how gender-confused kids are treated in England also apply to Scotland.

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