The Ministry of Health will officially name the three hospitals in Vietnam that are permitted to perform transgender surgery in early May, said Mr. Nguyen Huy Quang, Director of the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Health.
Quang said that the law prohibits medical intervention in completed cases on sex, men are men, women are women. But those with sexual defects at birth, or the gender has not been fixed yet, the law allows medical intervention to redefine the gender. It’s true need of society, because according to statistics, in 2,000 newborn babies, one has genitals not fit to the chromosome. And 1 in each 11,000 people has gender disability or unclear gender. These defects stem from genetic mutations or defects, not from psychological factors due to social interaction.
“Socially, such children need medical intervention to get their true sex. The Ministry of Health has issued Circular 29/2010/TT-BYT guiding technical implementation on gender redefining. Accordingly, the Ministry of Health has assigned three hospitals – the Central Pediatrics Hospital, Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi and the Children’s Hospital 2 in HCM City to prepare facilities, equipment and human resources to perform transgender surgery from May,” Quang said.
According to this official, anyone, of any age who wishes to redefine gender can go to one of the three above hospitals for transgender surgery. After getting the medical certificate on gender redefining, they can go to the People’s Committee of district or town to change the name and gender in the family record and then continue to change their personal papers, do the conversion of identification such as ID card, passport and other papers. Then, they can get married, have children and require the help of fertility if possible. The whole legal basis is so convenient. The case of Mr. Pham Van Hiep is unfavorable because he did not apply for a medical certificate at the right hospital that is allowed to perform this technique.
Why do only three hospitals are permitted to perform transgender surgery?
These hospitals must have appropriate technical facilities and particularly the human resources, which not many hospitals can satisfy so the Ministry of Health only assigns three hospitals at present.
The percentage of population with gender defects is quite high. Is it time to have sex screening before and after birth?
I think it is necessary, and a number of countries around the world have implemented it in order to have perfect children in terms of physical health at birth. But the screening system before and after birth in Vietnam is incomplete, so it will take sometime to implement this in Vietnam.
Currently, the draft amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family is being compiled, which mentions same-sex marriage. What is your point of views about this matter?
Personally, I support same-sex marriage, because I find myself more fortunate than them to have a clear gender. The unfortunate people also have the right to be true to their sex, to love and be loved, to be happy, why the society forbid them to achieve that.
The 2nd reason is that if they still love each other, live together and acquire property as a family, which is not recognized by the law, it will create problematic consequences.
Thirdly, when same-sex marriage is not recognized, they have to hide it, since then creating the underground world and stigma and discrimination.
In the world the views on same-sex marriage are different, coming from the perspective of religion, culture, social outlook. But if it is viewed from a developed society, the society really for human rights, the same-sex marriage should be endorsed.