The Ontario government will soon pay for sex-change operations again, Health Minister George Smitherman confirmed on Thursday.

Smitherman said the details of the plan are not final, but he expects only eight to 10 people will undergo sex-reassignment surgery every year now that the province has decided to renew coverage.

With those numbers, he estimated the cost of the surgery would add up to about $200,000 annually.

Those who want the operation would have to undergo "very rigorous" psychological evaluations, the minister added.

The Conservatives' health critic was not available for reporters' questions on Thursday. Elizabeth Witmer was the province's health minister when sex-reassignment surgery was delisted 10 years ago.

The party said it won't have any comment until it sees the details of what the government is going to do.

An announcement on the plan is expected in a few weeks, Smitherman said.