June 28th, 2019

Fight for equal access to public health care continues for transgender people

Halifax -- The announcement today that breast augmentation will be added to the list of gender confirming surgery covered by the province of Nova Scotia comes after intense work from community members and advocates, including the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service and the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project.

Serina Slaunwhite has led that charge, filing a human rights complaint on the grounds of discrimination based on gender identity/gender expression.

“In Nova Scotia, twice as many procedures are funded for individuals transitioning from female to male, compared to those transitioning from male to female,” said Slaunwhite. “I know I am a woman but this is challenged daily when others react to me and how I look. Breast augmentation is a vital and final means of aligning my body with my identity.”

The government began covering gender confirming surgery in April of 2014 but did not include breast augmentation and a number of other procedures.

“The government’s decision to cover this medical procedure comes directly from the work of Ms. Slaunwhite and others fighting for better services for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Susan Leblanc, NDP LGBTQ+ Spokesperson. “This is welcome news and a relief for those who have had to file human rights complaints to get the health care they need.”

Advocates continue to work in support of transgender people to minimize wait times and increase coverage to include additional procedures.