No Waiting Lists and Gender Reassignment Surgery Funding

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2007 National LGBT Conference
26 July 2007

Conference is deeply concerned that medical treatment in some areas of the United Kingdom (UK) is at times very difficult to obtain or there is no provision or support on the basis there is no waiting list. This includes areas such as Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) and haematology, an area of medicine closely related to the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis and other blood born diseases.

Taking an example from Wales, we have reports of patients being laughed out of surgeries and in general, a denial of services. The major part of the problem stems from Health Commission Wales (HCW), a body of the Welsh Assembly set up to fund specialist services in Wales. HCW state that funding for GRS and other treatments will only be granted in ‘exceptional circumstances’, even though there is no clear definition of this.

From the information received, it would seem that patients are being refused treatment after referral by their specialist/doctor and includes all areas of treatment where there is no waiting list. Cases are too often stored and/or forgotten, leaving the patient hopeless. For many, this can have serious consequences not only to their health and wellbeing, but also bring their employment into jeopardy.

Since there are no waiting lists, there are no means of assessing the financial needs of patients’ treatments.

This is an issue in many areas of the UK and not only that of Wales.

Conference believes there should be equal access to support and services regardless of gender identity and the current provision of specialist services offered to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) members and the general public at large is totally unacceptable, badly managed and cannot continue.

Conference therefore, requests the National LGBT Committee to work with the National Executive Council and other National Service Group Executives (as deemed appropriate) and contact the Wales Assembly, HCW and other similar bodies across the UK to:

1.Remove the deficiencies in medical treatment provided;

2.Remove the inequality of access to GRS and other treatments in the ‘no waiting list’ category;

3.Provide the necessary and appropriate funding to these services.