>> While transgender civil rights have exploded under the national stage, there are still many institutions across the country that have been slow to adapt including one place where many people feel most vulnerable, hospitals. Reuters' correspondent Daniel Trotta has been reporting on the discrimination many transgender patient say they pays at the doctor's office.
>> I'm here outside one of the seven hospitals in New York City's Mount Sinai Health System, which is one of the first in the country to employ at integrated system for treating transgender patients. This, however, is an exception. Very few hospitals in the country have any kind of training for their doctors or staff, which is part the problem that transgender people feel alienated or stigmatized when they go to their doctor.
>> Tonya Walker had lung cancer and was coughing a blood when she says here emergency room doctor keep asking about here genitals.>> The doctor said to the nurse, should I asked? And she said yeah, go ahead and asked. And he asked, and I'm in there coughing a blood, did you have a sex change?
What do you have down there? I felt like they weren't going to treat me unless I told them what my genitals were.>> Often at times doctors will ask questions of their transgender patients out of ignorance or curiosity, maybe they haven't treated that many transgender patients before. But what they are asking is not what the patient's hearing.
Often at times the patient Is hearing hostility or alienation.>> It's the same alienation transgender people experience in most other aspects of their life, but many health professionals are trying to make hospitals a more welcoming place.>> Our treatment of transgender patients has been abhorrent. About one out of every five transgender individuals is refused to care, because of being transgender.
A high proportion of folks actually face physical and verbal violence in medical clinics because of being transgender. This is a major problem. The medical world is very far behind. It is a conservative organization, and I mean in terms of systems of change, things are slow to move.>> But Trotta says while progress is slow, it's finally happening.
>> Certainly, things are much better than they were 20, 25 years ago. And more recently, changes in the US law have favored transgender patients. Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is now illegal to discriminate against transgender patients because of their gender.