November 3rd, 2015

Improve access to care for transgender Ontarians: NDP

Today, Ontario NDP Health Critic France Gélinas grilled Health Minister Eric Hoskins on long wait times for sex reassignment surgery and approvals during his appearance before the Estimates Committee at Queen’s Park. The assessment wait list for transgender Ontarians has ballooned from 680 in April to 1,064 in October, despite repeated assurances from the Liberal government that urgent action would be taken to remedy the situation. 

“My question is, when? You say all the right words, but shouldn’t the wait list trigger an urgent response?” Gélinas pressed. “Give me proof that this work is actually happening.”

In a letter to Gélinas last week, Hoskins provided no new information, simply stating once again that “the ministry is actively exploring options to address these concerns.”

Today, Hoskins refused to provide specific information about when the growing crisis will be addressed and how much additional funding will be provided by the Ministry of Health. When pressed for details, Hoskins committed to make an announcement before Christmas.

“Urgent action is long overdue to address the unacceptable barriers to care for transgender Ontarians,” said Gélinas. “Transgender Ontarians and their loved ones deserve real answers and real action from this Liberal government without further delay.” 

Ontario New Democrats have repeatedly called on the Liberal government to improve access to care for transgender Ontarians, including sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.