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125,000 People Sign Petition For Transgender Surgery To Be Covered By Medicare In Australia

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125,000 People Sign Petition For Transgender Surgery To Be Covered By Medicare In Australia

Thousands of people are backing the call for gender-affirming surgery to be covered by Medicare in Australia.

The surgery is what some transgender people get to allow them to live in the body they truly believe they inhabit.

The main forms are top surgery, which involves removing or adding breasts, or bottom surgery which removes genitals and replaces it with the other sex.

But it can also involve other types of procedures that help ensure they look like the sex they want to be, which could involve something like shaving their Adam's apple to be able to look more feminine.

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While these surgeries can cost tens of thousands of dollars, it can be live-saving for some people.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

If you include all the practices that go into surgery (ie. consultations and aftercare), Aussies can sometimes have to fork out up to $100,000.

A growing group of people believe the Australian government should cover the cost of these procedures.

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More than 125,000 people have signed the online petition on the government's website.

The organiser wrote: "Transgender people and other people in need of gender-affirming surgery must pay a lot of money, up to $30,000, so they can finally have their outward appearance match how they truly feel on the inside.

"I know of someone personally who is struggling to bring together the money to get this surgery as it is not covered by Medicare, even though this specific person is eligible for a breast reduction for medical purposes anyway.

"We therefore ask the House to make gender-affirming and gender reassignment services eligible for Medicare benefits, as these surgeries are essential for the mental health and well-being of select people in the LGBTQ+ community."

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The UK and New Zealand have introduced measures to allow the public purse to cover some or all the costs associated with transition surgery.

Politicians across the Tasman decided to fund four gender-affirming surgeries every two years, while the UK's NHS has plenty of resources available to trans people wanting to transition.

Transgender actor Eliot Page explained in an interview with TIME Magazine how important it was for him to get top surgery.

After Juno saw him receive Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations and worldwide attention, Page admits it was difficult keeping up with all the red carpets and magazine editorials that accentuated how disconnected he was with being female.

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Elliot added: "I just never recognised myself. For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself."

The Umbrella Academy actor said getting top surgery has finally allowed him to recognise the person he always felt on the inside and described it as 'not only life-changing but lifesaving'.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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