Trans and Health Care Advocates Holding Event on Barriers to Care

Media Release

Jan 30, 2018

Trans and Health Care Advocates Holding Event on Barriers to Care

Advocates for a more inclusive health care system from B.C. and Alberta are gathering at a town hall meeting on Thursday, February 1 in Edmonton to discuss barriers to access for trans patients, and how centres outside Alberta have had success providing more equal access to care.

The event is at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Lions Seniors Centre at 11113 113 St in Edmonton.

“As an organization committed to equal access to health care, Friends of Medicare have been disturbed to learn of wait times longer than two years for trans patients to access needed hormone replacement therapy medications,” said Friends of Medicare Executive Director Sandra Azocar. “We felt that this was an important conversation to have, and this event has been organized to highlight barriers and call for solutions.”

"I have been providing hormone therapy using primarily informed consent models of care for more than five years,” said Vancouver family physician Dr. Andrea Szewchuk. “Although our systems are still far from perfect, the integration of informed consent models into care by family doctors is a step towards safer and more accessible care for transgender people. What we know is that we do harm when we force patients to wait for specialized care, and yet many places are still upholding models that pathologize gender and limit access to necessary and life saving health care. I am happy to speak on Thursday about expanding trans care within family medicine because it is work that all GP's can and should be able to provide, and it is within current standards for them to provide it."

"While we hear talk from the government of feminist and LGBTQ inclusive values, the principles of my body my choice are being ignored as barriers to trans Albertans access to basic reproductive medicine are being entrenched," said Valerie Keefe.

"We see time and time again working with trans and gender diverse youth across the province, they aren't getting the care they need in the timeliness they need and these barriers are costing us lives," said Amelia Marie Newbert, co-founder of Alberta trans youth organization Skipping Stone Foundation. "While over the past few years in this province we've taken great strides towards recognizing equal rights and access to service for trans and gender diverse individuals, we far too often are not seeing this reflected in their experiences with the health care system. Working to break down these barriers is key to all we do at the Skipping Stone Foundation."