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Transgender men cannot get access to smear tests

TRANSGENDER issues have been ‘mishandled’ by ministers, a Tory MP has warned.

Reforms are needed to give trans people better access to vital healthcare, urged Maria Miller, who chairs the Commons women and equalities committee. She said there had been a ‘wrongheaded’ focus on making it easier for them to gain legal recognition of their gender.

‘Many trans people simply don’t have access to the basic healthcare that the rest of us take for granted — things like cervical smears are often things that trans men are not able to access,’ Mrs Miller said.

Ministers are proposing to reform the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for trans people to have their identities enshrined in law.

But Ms Miller said no action had been taken on 32 other recommendations made in a report by her committee.

And she said the announcement of the reforms to the act had not been followed up with ‘concrete proposals’.

As a debate rages over issues such as transgender access to ladies’ loos, she said the government had created a ‘vacuum’ by failing to make clear that ‘there is no threat to single-sex services’.

Recognition is ‘not the most pressing issue’ for transgender people, she said, adding that ‘ministers should focus on getting services right first and foremost’.