Department of Health discusses transgender healthcare model
The groups met with Victor Boudreau today to discuss healthcare access for transgender people
Representatives from the Transgender Health Network (NBTHN), UBU Atlantic, Fredericton Gender Minorities Group and TransAction NB got a glimpse of a transgender healthcare model Tuesday.
The groups met with Health Minister Victor Boudreau and officials with the Department of Health.
"They seem very willing to have conversations," said Mable Wheeler, of TransAction NB and FGMG.
"A lot of the time when you're working with a group of people who are mostly privileged cis people it can feel like you're talking to a wall and they don't take the time to understand what is actually happening. But it was really great."
Cis refers to people who are not transgender.
Nothing has happened yet. We are not at the finish line.- Mable Wheeler
A Facebook post by TransAction NB published Tuesday said the proposed model would bring New Brunswick in line with levels of coverage offered in most other provinces.
It also said that no province in Canada has an ideal coverage model when it comes to trans-inclusive care.
"Boudreau said it's not going to be the Cadillac of Canadian trans-healthcare coverage … but I think there's hope … I think there's definitely hope."
"It was a good, collaborative meeting," said Bruce Macfarlane, the director of communications for the Department of Health.
"The minister provided an update on the file and appreciated the comments and feedback he received from the group. Work continues," he said.
Ultimately the groups want equal access to healthcare in the province, meaning access to medically necessary procedures for trans people.
"Surgeries that are considered medically necessary are supposed to be covered and gender confirmation surgeries have been deemed medically necessary," Wheeler says.
Wheeler, along with the other representatives, feel New Brunswick is making strides towards healthcare access for trans people but understand it's a struggle in every province.
According to the groups, the Department of Health also indicated a need for informing MLAs and the public during this time period to help future proposed legislation pass smoothly.
"We don't want to have our hearts broken. This means lives and this means the world to queer people who are living in New Brunswick," Wheeler says.
"It's scary because everything seems like it's in line. Nothing has happened yet. We are not at the finish line."
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