CAIRO: Those seeking gender change operations now have to get an approval from a Doctors’ Syndicate committee beforehand, Dr Sayed Saied, the syndicate’s media spokesperson, told Daily News Egypt.
According to Saied, the committee is made up of professional “general physicians, plastic surgeons and psychologists to investigate the cases filed by the patients who seek to undergo this type of operation.
The committee, he continued, would assess the medical condition of the patient to check if he or she “actually needs to undergo this operation and that the patient’s chromosomes and genes will accept the transition.
“The patient should also have the physiological organs of the sex he will be changed to, which might have been hidden or were not functioning properly but should be there, Saied added.
“In addition, the physical appearance of the patient must have some indicators that prove that s/he needs a gender transformation operation.
Before the syndicate took such decisions, doctors used to confer with the syndicate, on an informal basis, before performing such an operation. Thus the syndicate decided to “make this optional regulation mandatory, Saied explained.
Although the number of gender operations does not exceed two cases a year, the new decision “was needed to regulate the procedures in the future, he added.
The new regulations are binding to both public and private hospitals and clinics.
Doctors that don’t inform the syndicate before conducting such operations will charged with violating syndicate regulations and will be penalized, Saied said.
“The new regulations are a step forward towards a complete system to be followed with regard to sex change operations in Egypt, Dr Alaa Attita, plastic surgeon, told Daily News Egypt.
“As we all know, there are regulations monitoring these operations in all the developed countries like the United States, France and the United Kingdom, so it is about time we see the same thing happening in Egypt, Attita added.
The surgeon ruled out the possibility of friction between doctors and committee members, explaining that “the sex change operation is a very special and sensitive issue that usually needs a lot of consultations and opinions.
Attita was one of the doctors behind the first gender change operation in Egypt, which saw Al-Azhar medical school graduate Sayed Morsi turn into Sally Morsi, who eventually became a belly dancer.