EQUALLY – Coalition for LGBTIQ+ rights demands from the Ministry of Health to finally start solving the problem of shortage of hormone therapy with estradiol, which even after five years of active advocacy of the Spectra Association has not been solved.
The Ministry of Health’s continued avoidance of this problem has led to a number of consequences, and all women in need of estradiol hormone therapy have had their mental and physical health impaired, especially transwomen, who are particularly vulnerable due to social rejection and violence they experience. It is important to note that estradiol is also on the Positive List of Medicines and, hence, belongs to the health care covered by health insurance, which all citizens pay through taxes and contributions.
Additionally, despite our efforts to draw attention to this problem in public, institutions remain silent. Except for the Ministry of Health, we addressed the Primary Health Care Center Podgorica and Montefarm for years. However, in each address, the activists are directed to the competent Ministry, from which we expect steps towards solving this problem. We also addressed the Ombudsman, who sent an urgency to the Ministry of Health, but it also remained unanswered. The continuous absence of any efforts to address this issue, which can only be resolved through institutional will and proactive work, represents systemic and institutional discrimination against women, especially those with different gender identities and expressions.
The coalition reminds that we do not need declarative messages of support for LGBTI people. From the Minister of Health, Dragoslav Šćekić, as a member of the Government of Montenegro whose mandate is to unblock the path of European integration, which includes a commitment to human rights, with an accent on gender equality and LGBTI people as a particularly vulnerable category, we expect a meeting with non-governmental organizations representing communities facing the problem of lack of hormone therapy, which will clearly define the steps with a precise deadline for solving this problem.
The right to health is our basic human right, not a privilege, and we expect the Ministry of Health to ensure respect for the law and access to adequate health care equally for all citizens of Montenegro.
EQUALLY – Coalition for LGBTIQ+ rights operates on principles and values of the full respect for human rights and freedoms, equality, voluntarism, feminism, egalitarianism, solidarity, mutual support and respect, and direct democracy. The Coalition is composed of 37 civil society organisations and institutions working at the national and local levels in Montenegro in the field of respect for human rights of LGBTIQ+ persons.
Centre for Civic Education (CCE) is a member of the EQUALLY – Coalition for LGBTIQ+ rights.