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NHS to cut treatment for transsexuals in a bid to save money and waiting times

January 4th, 2007

Dr Petra

Worrying news this week comes from Transgenderzone with reports that Hounslow Primary Care Trust (PCT) will not be funding gender reassignment from April 2007. In a means to cut costs to the healthcare trust surgery including tattoo removal and breast enhancements plus gender reassignment surgery will have to be paid for by individuals.

This means patients seeking a sex change who live in that PCT’s catchment area will have to go without surgery if they cannot afford it themselves. It presumably also means women requiring breast enhancement surgery following mastectomy will have to pay for this service.

The trust claims these planned changes will lead to a reduction in hospital waiting times. IVF services are also at risk of being cut or restricted – although the trust is inviting a consultation on this. Apparently they did not invite a consultation about cutting gender reassignment services.

It is curious how this PCT seems to have lumped a range of services together from tattoo removal to gender reassignment – constructing them all as ‘optional’ surgery.

According to Transgenderzone “this flies in the face of recent reports that the Gender Clinic Charing Cross had high hopes for increasing transgender services… opposed to such a catastrophic reduction – especially with electrolysis and faster top surgery for FTM patients, which will obviously face a very low priority in light of this news….This could also be a stalking horse for other PCTs and an attractive way for NHS services strapped for cash to unload their transgender patients”.

If this is an issue that affects you and you are concerned contact your GP, therapist or Primary Care Trust. More information and support can be obtained from Transgenderzone or you may decide to contact your MP or petition your PCT if it seems services are likely to be cut.

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