Why fund trans healthcare in Nova Scotia?
Gender identity and gender expression were recently been added to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. Human rights protections are in place to help provide equal opportunities and freedom from discrimination for all people. Considering that 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide (a rate 25 times higher than in the general population), and that many report improved mental health post-surgery, it’s clear that trans related surgeries are essential – they are life saving. Covering trans related healthcare expenses, thus providing equal opportunity for essential procedures, works towards REAL human rights on the basis of gender identity and expression.
ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
People may feel uncomfortable going to doctors or t hospitals for a variety of reasons, and simply being a trans person is one of them. 19% of trans people have reported being refused health care because they are trans, and 2% have been violently assaulted in a doctor’s office. If trans related health care services were covered, more health care professionals would be trained to work with trans people. The more education there is about trans people, the less violence we will face. We believe that everyone deserves healthcare, and trans people have a right to access healthcare that is specific to and respectful of their needs. We demand a healthcare system based in real informed consent, a system free of barriers and gatekeepers, that allows trans individuals to make their own decisions about the services they need for their health and well-being.
The cost of reactive healthcare – dealing with issues such as depression, addiction, and suicide that are often the result of marginalization based on gender identity and gender expression – is huge, and often overlooked. However, preventative healthcare – including funding trans-related healthcare – will increase the wellbeing and happiness of an entire section of the population and will ultimately save the province the costs of reactive services. And the cost of coverage for trans health services is less than you might think: in Alberta, for example, the full cost of covering SRS was estimated at only $0.18 per taxpayer each year.