Nova Scotians will now have access to funding for sex reassignment surgery as the provincial government makes good on a promise it made last summer.

The province announced in June it intended to begin providing coverage for the procedure.

"Transgender Nova Scotians face unique challenges in the health-care system, as they do in life," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine in a press release.

"I hope this will help those for whom sex reassignment surgery is an important part of their transition."

The funding covers eight types of sex reassignment surgeries, all related to the removal and reconstruction of external and internal organs or characteristics.

"Gender confirming surgery is an important part of a successful transition for many transgender people," said Kate Shewan, vice-chair of the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project.

"These are medically-necessary procedures and have been proven to improve health, well-being and quality of life." 

Last June, the province did a quick about-face, backtracking on its initial decision not to provide funding for sex reassignment surgery.

In justifying the province's decision not to pay for the procedure, then-Health Minister David Wilson cited a lack of high-quality research about the effectiveness of outcomes.

One week later the government backtracked, agreeing to pay for the surgery after reportedly reviewing the medical evidence and the policies of other provinces.

According to a news release, Nova Scotians interested in accessing public funds for the procedure can begin by talking with their family doctor.

More information is available online