QYS has been hearing concerns from community members about delays and cancellations to gender affirming care for Trans, Two-Spirit, Non-binary and Intersex people. Earlier this week, Mona (our Executive Director) and Mira (our Health and Education Manager) met with YG's Director of Insured Health and Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services to bring up these concerns. We made it very clear to Health and Social Services that the delays and uncertainty caused by this move have huge negative impacts on people's mental health, and we asked them to communicate directly and transparently with community members who are affected.
Today, we received the attached letter. We are disappointed that YG chose to notify service providers before community members, and to address the letter to Queer Yukon rather than to the Trans, Two-Sprit, Non-binary and Intersex people affected by the change. But we are glad to be able to provide some clarity and transparency to community members and we will continue to make your concerns heard and share any information we learn.
Based on our conversation on Tuesday, we understand that:
YG is currently unable to pay for any services in private clinics (except for voice training), including surgery or hair removal. Access to hormones, and surgeries at Vancouver General Hospital, are unaffected.
This is a temporary pause, and there is a "written in stone" commitment to have a legal fix in place by the end of December 2022 and restart payment in January.
People who already have referrals in for surgery can work with their healthcare provider and YG to make sure they don't lose their position in line.
We've made it very clear to Health and Social Services that the delays and uncertainty caused by this move have huge negative impacts on people's mental health. We're pushing to have the wait times at Mental Wellness waived for members of our community who need support, and we'll let you know when we hear back.
Please take care of yourselves and each other, and get in touch if there's any support QYS can offer.
For questions & concerns email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Yukon Governments letter below:
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About queer yukon society
Queer Yukon Society supports, promotes, and organizes events for the LGBTQ2S+ community and our allies in Whitehorse, Yukon. Officially incorporated in 2018, Queer Yukon has been organizing Yukon Pride since 2013, as well as many other events to bring together LGBTQ2S+ and allied Yukoners to build a strong and vibrant community.