For immediate release
November 4, 2019
NDP welcomes changes to policies for gender affirming surgeries
The NDP Caucus is applauding government’s long overdue announcement that people will no longer have to travel outside the province for assessments for gender affirming surgeries.
The former NDP MHA for St. John’s Centre, Gerry Rogers, asked questions on this in the House of Assembly in March 2019 and called on government to improve access to gender affirming surgeries.
At that time, Rogers said NL was the only province left in Canada making it mandatory for trans people to have their assessments for gender affirming surgery done at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto. Rogers said that there was no medical reason for assessments to be done out of province.
Rogers also presented a petition numerous times in the House of Assembly urging government to improve access to gender affirming surgeries and, specifically, to:
Develop an in-province assessment process for gender affirming surgeries that would eliminate the need for an assessment by CAMH as the sole referral option;
Increase funding and coverage for gender affirming surgeries through MCP;
Expand the types of surgeries covered to better reflect national standards.
NDP Leader Alison Coffin says she is pleased that government has finally, following pressure from many community advocates, such as Blair Curtis who spearheaded this petition with the NDP Caucus, done the right thing and changed the policies to allow trans people to have their assessment done in-province.
“We know that long wait times for gender affirming surgeries have adverse impacts on mental health and increase the risk of suicide. The current wait time to get an assessment at CAMH is approximately two years – it’s completely unnecessary to subject people to this outdated process,” said Coffin.
“Now that government has committed to providing assessments for gender affirming surgeries in NL, we look forward to ensuring that government continues to provide resources to improve the lives of trans people in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Coffin.
For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org.