Australia’s LGBTI Health Alliance has approved a new policy on the medical necessity of gender affirmation.

Andrew Little
Andrew Little

“Medical gender affirmation is necessary and beneficial for intersex, trans and gender diverse people who seek such intervention on their own behalf,” said Acting Executive Director Andrew Little, noting that “many intersex people in Australia have been subjected to medical intervention without their own fully informed consent.“

Mr Little said that for those trans and gender diverse people who seek medical gender affirmation, extensive research has documented that hormones, surgery and related affirmation procedures are medically necessary and beneficial.

“Health insurance coverage through Medicare and private insurance is absolutely necessary for the majority of trans and gender diverse people who seek to affirm their genders. Coverage is also vital for intersex people who seek to correct the results of unwanted interventions.”

The Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) 2013 prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity and intersex status. The prohibition against indirect discrimination applies to cases in which a general policy or requirement that does not specifically target intersex, trans or gender diverse people disproportionately affects these populations.

“Failure to provide coverage for necessary medical care requested by intersex, trans and gender diverse people should be considered in light of the SDA protection from indirect discrimination,” said Mr Little.