According to a recent report published by the Associated Press, transgender surgeries could soon be covered by San Francisco’s Health Commission. The program is meant to help transgender people, who face mental distress because they perceive a mismatch between their bodies and their identities.
San Francisco’s Health Commission understands that transgender people suffer from mental affections, so they are willing to adopt a new program on their behalf. Based on the new plan, the cost of sex reassignment surgeries for uninsured transgender residents will be supported by the city. The decision was adopted after the members of the Health Commission agreed that the condition of transgender people is a lot serious than it is believed.
According to public health officials and transgender rights advocates, people who are born with the wrong type of body experience various mental problems. It may seem strange for heterosexuals, but transgender people find it very hard to accept their own bodies. In fact, they often suffer from depression and other mental affections if they don’t undergo special surgeries. Public health officials argue that sex reassignment surgeries must not be perceived as a whim, but rather as a necessary medical treatment.
Similar initiatives have been adopted before as San Francisco’s transgender residents received hormones, counseling and routine health services. Advocates request officials to widen the array of medical services by offering mastectomies, genital reconstructions and other surgeries in addition to the aforementioned ones. Some transgender people can benefit of these services due to San Francisco’s 5-year-old universal health care plan, but public health officials want to come to uninsured people’s assistance, as well.
The first step has already been accomplished in the adoption of the new plan as the commission agreed to drop sex reassignment surgery from the list of procedures excluded from the Healthy San Francisco plan. However, the change is only “symbolic” for the moment because San Francisco does not have the necessary expertise, capacity or protocols to provide transgender surgeries.