Canadian Court Approves Public Funding of ‘Gender-Affirming’ Surgery

(ga) -- MARCIBOWERS--TRINIDAD, COLORADO, JUNE 6, 2007-- Dr. Marci Bowers performs the tran
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An Ontario, Canada, resident has successfully secured public funding for a specialized “gender-affirming” medical procedure in which a vaginal cavity is surgically created while keeping the penis intact.

CTV News Toronto reports the prospective patient, identified only as K.S. in documents filed with the provincial Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB), was seeking coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) for a penile-preserving vaginoplasty in a first-of-its-kind case.

Since 2023, K.S. has been engaged in a series of appeals to the review board following an initial denial by OHIP to cover the surgery. On April 10, a final appeal launched by OHIP was dismissed by the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The CTV report continues:

K.S., whose identity is protected under a publication ban, identifies as non-binary. She presents as predominantly female and uses she/her pronouns, but does not align with the gender binary.

The reason why K.S. is seeking this particular procedure is because it aligns with her identity – and having the provincial insurer previously deny her request made her feel “less than.”

“There have been so many times that I have had to justify myself to just be,” K.S. previously told the outlet. “People who aren’t trans or nonbinary don’t have to get that permission to exist.”

It is unclear how much the surgery will cost but traditional “reassignment” procedures usually cost between $10,000 and $70,000, the Daily Mail reports.

A similar case last June saw the OHIP fund the surgery of a public servant, 41, who had a penis constructed without removing their vagina and uterus – despite initially denying the claim.

But critics told the National Post the request illustrates “how far off the rails” so-called gender-affirming treatment has gone in Canada.

“Our public health-care system is at the breaking point and really needs to focus on procedures that are medically necessary,” Pamela Buffone, founder of the parents’ group Canadian Gender Report, said in an email to the Post.

“Is this type of surgery health care? The patient will not be physically healthier because of the operation, which is likely to result in complications and the need for corrective surgeries and further demands on the health system.”

K.S. will now likely travel to The Crane Center in Austin, Texas, which specializes in several non-standard gender surgeries for his operation.

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