The province of Nova Scotia has refused to pay for a trans man’s hysterectomy, leaving him with a surprise $3,400 bill.
After experiencing some abdominal pain, Jessiah MacDonald was told that his uterus had several abnormal polyps and was recommended by a gynecologist that it be removed for preventative measures. He took his doctor’s advice (as most people should), but was told after the operation that he would have to pay for the procedure out-of-pocket because the province doesn’t pay for sex reassignment surgery.
“I felt it was wrong because despite my gender, I still have pieces of my body and if a piece of my body gets sick, I expect it to be treated as any other piece,” Jessiah told the media in an interview.
Canada has universal health care, which means that provinces typically pay for all medical bills, but sex reassignment is still considered cosmetic or unnecessary by some jurisdictions. Nova Scotia is obviously one of the provinces with this outdated view, but also apparently hasn’t considered the possibility that not all uterine surgery on trans people is related to sex reassignment.
Jessiah has now filed a human rights complaint against Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness.