Ontario bill demands taxpayers fund 'gender-affirming' cosmetic procedures in midst of health care crisis

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At a time when Ontario’s healthcare system is on its knees, with emergency room wait times at record lengths, thousands of Ontarians without GPs, and people all over the province failing to get even their most basic healthcare needs met, an NDP Member of Provincial Parliament has introduced a Private Member’s Bill which seeks to expand coverage for so-called “gender-affirming” treatments such as facial feminization surgery and electrolysis, calling such procedures “life-saving.” 

Kristyn Wong-Tam, who uses they/them pronouns and is the NDP MPP for Toronto Centre, reintroduced The Gender Affirming Healthcare Advisory Committee Act that Wong-Tam’s predecessor, Suze Morrison, had introduced in 2021. The bill seeks the formation of an advisory committee made up of members of the transgender community and sex change healthcare providers that would advise the Ontario government on how best to implement fully funded transition-on-demand care for transgender Ontarians.

One function of this committee of gender-affirming experts would be to advise the provincial government on how to “expand insurance coverage for gender-affirming treatments and transition-related procedures not currently covered under the Health Insurance Act, including affirming facial feminization surgery, ‘chest contouring’ and electrolysis.” 

Currently, the province does not cover electrolysis for women suffering from medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, which results in excessive facial and body hair. Of note, detransitioned women who have facial and body hair from taking testosterone are also not eligible for hair removal coverage by provincial insurance.

Bill 42 also seeks to implement “the informed consent model of transgender care” and “to reduce referral requirements for access to care.” 

Informed consent in the general medical setting means the process in which a healthcare provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a given procedure or intervention. The Informed Consent Model referred to in Bill 42, however, means the opposite. 

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