The government recently announced their latest budget, which includes funding initiatives to improve services for transgender patients.
The government has allocated $2.18 million over four years, to improve primary healthcare services for transgender patients. Primary healthcare refers to a broad range of health services provided in communities, such as your regular doctor (General Practitioner), practice nurses, and others working in general practices. It does not include specialists such as endocrinologists or surgeons.
*Note that the new initiatives will not affect pre-existing initiatives – they will not replace the increased funding for genital reconstruction surgeries announced in 2019.
The new funding will, in part, go toward intensive upskilling at 8 clinics around the country, which will then specialise in providing gender affirming healthcare. With eight clinics around New Zealand, it is our hope there will be coverage for both the North and the South Island.
The details have not yet been decided, and will be developed by Health New Zealand.
The Associate Minister of Health Dr. Ayesha Verall has indicated that the budget will also include the development of guidelines and training for clinicians.
Pharmac and hormones
There has also been a significant increase to Pharmac’s budget.
Pharmac has put together a proposal on expanding the provisions of certain medications, including progesterone.
Progesterone can be included in gender affirming hormone treatment for transfeminine people.
Pharmac is seeking feedback on their proposal before 5pm on Thursday the 2nd of June 2022, and we urge anyone who takes, or would like to take, progesterone to read their call for submissions and send an email in support to firstname.lastname@example.org
The budget also includes $2.5 million over three years to develop a rights based approach to healthcare for intersex young people. This is intended to develop a healthcare framework in which parents of intersex infants can receive supportive and accurate information which affirms intersex existence, and where intersex people can make their own informed decisions about the medical procedures they undertake, rather than being subjected to surgeries without their consent.