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Gender-Affirming Care Policy takes effect in N.S.

By Caitlin Snow Jul 28, 2023 | 12:04 PM

Michael Havens / CC

A big step forward in health care for transgender and gender-diverse Nova Scotians,

The Gender-Affirming Care Policy takes effect today that ensures high-quality, timely, equitable, and safe services are provided that supports access to gender-affirming care.

“We know that transgender and gender-diverse Nova Scotians have experienced challenges receiving appropriate and timely healthcare services that meet their needs. That wasn’t acceptable and had to change,” said Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We must meet Nova Scotians where they are in their care journey, not the other way around. This policy will help us do that and it is only a start. We’ll continue to listen and improve.”

The new policy outlines the following for gender-affirming care and procedures:
— eligibility criteria
— covered services
— standards of care
— assessment, referral and approval processes
— roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals.

Making processes simpler while removing barriers and will provide a fee code for physicians delivering the services.

“This policy is a welcome change because we often hear from the community that equitable access to gender-affirming care and the inconsistent interpretation of processes by healthcare professionals is a concern. I am hopeful these changes will come into effect at the point of care sooner, rather than later. Nova Scotia is leading the way in Canada on this issue, and I encourage other provinces to follow our lead.”
– Veronica Merryfield, founder, Cape Breton Transgender Network

This comes after the provincial budget included more than 2 million dollars in funding for gender-affirming procedures and prideHealth.


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