Public Funding Reinstated for Sex Reassignment in Ontario

After nearly 10 years of being delisted, public funding for sex-reassignment surgery is in the process of being reinstated in the Canadian province of Ontario, according to the Vancouver Sun.

BY admin

May 23 2008 12:00 AM ET

After nearly 10
years of being delisted, public funding for
sex-reassignment surgery is in the process of being
reinstated in the Canadian province of Ontario,
according to the Vancouver Sun. A decade ago, while
Ontario was governed by the then-majority Conservative
Party, sex-reassignment surgery was removed from the
list of medical procedures covered by the government.

Ontario health
minister George Smitherman predicts that “eight to
10” people will apply for the surgery each
year, but already there are over 100 transgender
individuals in Ontario on the list. This list, however,
may not reflect the typical annual number of applicants. The
many people waiting for surgery are part of a backlog
that has been growing since 1998. Once the province
finalizes the decision, those applicants will begin to
receive their compensated surgeries.

"A population
which has needs that are quite difficult to understand
were subjected to a lot of politics. I think we should be
careful not to use what is $200,000 on a $40.2 billion
budget as an excuse to try and create a them-and-us
conversation,” Smitherman said, reflecting on the
discriminatory nature of the previous government’s
decision.

Canadian
transgender activists are celebrating the announcement,
saying that the government is showing
“courage.” (The Advocate)

Tags: Health

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