FREDERICTON – New Brunswick New Democratic Party leader Dominic Cardy is demanding full and equal access to healthcare for members of the transgender community in New Brunswick. Cardy welcomed the news that Health Minister Victor Boudreau plans to meet with members of the transgender rights community, though he added that the meeting was long overdue and that action is now needed to strengthen transgender rights in New Brunswick.
“Full and equal access to healthcare, including gender reassignment surgery, must be made available to the transgender community. We are the only province that hasn’t done so and it’s time we join the rest of Canada in the 21st century,” Cardy said.
Cardy added that Minister Boudreau’s earlier comments about who doctors can choose to treat undermines his credibility as Health Minister. “You cannot have a Minister of the government suggesting that doctors can refuse to treat patients whom they dislike as people or based on how they live their lives. The medical system is for everyone and the Minister of Health should defend and promote that,” Cardy said.
Cardy also said that concerns about the cost of publicly providing gender reassignment surgery are unfounded. “The spin-off healthcare cost savings from providing this surgery make it worth doing so, and even without acknowledging those savings, the upfront cost is minimal. If we were to take the annual cost to Ontario of providing gender reassignment surgery and adjust it for New Brunswick’s size, the cost is only $120,000 per year. Put another way, that’s less than Victor Boudreau’s annual salary,” Cardy said.