Coming out of the woodwork to give Oxfordshire PCT a slap in the face. Please read!

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven't been on recently. I'm still suffering from extreme fatigue, and have to save mental/physical energy in every area of my life. This issue, however, is one that is worth the expenditure.

In brief, a friend of a friend is being treated badly by the Oxfordshire health authorities. She is being refused funding for gender reassignment surgery on the grounds that she apparently doesn't need it enough.

Gender reassignment, in the UK, is mediated through specialist clinics. For the south of England, the specialist clinic is at Charing Cross Hospital in London. In order for Charing Cross to put you forward for surgery, you have to demonstrate that you are functioning day-to-day, living in your target gender.

In order to get funding out of Oxfordshire PCT, you have to demonstrate "extreme need" - and pretty much the only way to do this is to be so depressed as to be at risk of suicide. A state of mental health which then makes you ineligible for treatment by Charing Cross.

Essentially, Oxfordshire PCT will only fund your gender reassignment when your condition, through non-treatment, has made you too ill to undergo surgery. It's catch-22.

The woman in question is collecting signatures for a government petition to change the NHS' policy. The petition is here and you can read more about it here. Thank you for your time.

Cake x

Please note: I realise that not everyone here will agree with this, and normally I would welcome debate over the subject, but unfortunately I am too tired at the moment to respond to it. When I get better, though, I will be more than willing.

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Comment by Gecko, of Richie! on May 13, 2009 at 7:33pm
I fear as medical care becomes more universal ( as I believe it should) this issue will become more controversial. I understand Canada is a good place for gender reassignment but not sure. Good luck to your friend tell her we are thinking of her. And hope to see more of you on the Nexus.
Comment by ObscureAtheist on March 13, 2009 at 3:43am
These kinds of surgeries are very common here in Iran!(homosexual behaviours are banned here but these surgeries are not) and its cost is very lower than what is there. so if she couldn't do that there you can suggest her to consider this option too.(i have heard that many foreigner even westerns because of its lower costs do it in Iran)
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on March 12, 2009 at 8:21pm
Done! There was a tab for non-residents. I signed as an "ex-pat", although I don't think that is exactly correct. I will let them figure that one out. :-)
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on March 12, 2009 at 8:16pm
I have a British passport by decent. I think that makes me eligible to protest and be heard. I will do so.

Meanwhile, Cake, rest and get well.
Comment by Buffy on March 12, 2009 at 6:02pm
I'd love to sign but the petition says one must be a British resident or citizen.

I think it's outrageous that they insist you put yourself in danger in an attempt to get necessary treatment. Whatever happened to preventive care? Then we'll hear a bunch of babble about how transgender people have higher rates of depression and suicide, but they won't say it's because they can't get their needs properly addressed. Gah!
Comment by cj the cynic on March 12, 2009 at 2:17pm
That is outrageous! I can't believe a medical establishment that professes to help people would do such a cruel thing. I'm sorry to hear such terrible news. I would sign the petition, but I cannot as I am a US citizen. I will spread this around to as many people as I can, though. I hope your friend can get the surgery she deserves.



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