Trans people’s surgeries cost NHS £250,000,000,000,000,000

March 5, 2010

Well, no, not really, that’s just me ever-so-gently poking fun at the headline of this article in the Coventry Telegraph. The gist of the content seems to be this:

  1. NHS Coventry commissioned 17 operations in the last five years (fewer than 4 operations each year) at an average cost of £10,735 each
  2. NHS Warwickshire commissioned 6 operations in the last four years (8 operations each year) at a cost of £10,750 each

From the original headline – Sex-change operations cost NHS £250,000 over five years – you could be forgiven for thinking that we’d used up the entire budget for both PCTs for five years running with our wildly extravagant (yet life-saving) surgeries, but as the anonymous NHS Coventry spokeswoman points out, the number of operations was low and followed established medical guidelines.

On the other hand, now that the newspaper knows how to make Freedom of Information requests, perhaps we can look forward to more concrete facts and figures about what our medical treatment really costs the nation’s taxpayers. Maybe then we can start to lay to rest, once and for all, some of the inaccurate scare stories about medical transitioning.

One Response to “Trans people’s surgeries cost NHS £250,000,000,000,000,000”

  1. electrocarrie Says:

    And it’s stories like these that I find the most virulent. The problem is with everything that ‘was not said’. Why print it in the first place? It implies that some form of social outcry is called for, and completely fails to put into perspective the true burden (financially, medically and emotionally) we as trans people face in our transition. This article, by definition, fails to adequately establish that being trans is no different from being born with any other congential condition, which the NHS treats daily – Not printing it would have implicitly achieved that. Would they print a story citing how much cancer treatment has cost? Heavens no. The paper would be more likely to print an article arguing for more funding. 23 people taking one step further to escape the ‘living death’ – this newspaper has turned it’s back on us as human beings.


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