Manitoba Pulls An Alberta, Denies Transgender Surgery

August 26th, 2009

And I speak for all taxpayers, too.

Not long after Alberta’s decision to eliminate all forms of gender reassignment surgery from its public health care, Manitoba has followed suit, calling it an “unnecessary treatment” and citing savings for the economy. The surgery would affect only an estimated 20 Manitobans per year.

The Manitoba Health Department had previously suggested to the government that the province completely fund all forms of gender reassignment surgeries on the grounds that it dramatically improves the lives of people who suffer from a recognized disorder. A document prepared by the Health Department described the necessity clearly, but was dismissed by Gary Doer’s NDP government:

Manitoba has no standards of care for Gender Identify Disorder in spite of the fact that internationally accepted standards exist. Coverage is denied on the basis that treatments are cosmetic, experimental or not medically necessary, contrary to all available evidence.

Ontario had previously tried to delist gender reassignment surgery from its public health care, but was forced to re-introduce it by the Human Rights Commission ten years ago.