Gender transition insurance cover cut for GPs in Australia

One of the country’s biggest medical insurers will no longer cover private practitioners prescribing gender-affirming care to adolescents, in a move that could leave young people languishing on already-stretched public waiting lists.

MDA National, one of four major medical indemnity providers insuring GPs and other private practitioners against legal claims, updated its policy this month to exclude cover for claims “arising from aspects of gender transitioning treatment for under 18-year-old patients”.
Dr Michael Gannon, the organisation’s president, said young people experiencing gender dysphoria should be initially assessed by multidisciplinary teams in hospital – not by GPs.
Gannon said the decision was made in response to legal cases overseas, including the high-profile inquiry into, and subsequent closure of, Britain’s only children’s gender clinic.
“We’re not taking a moral stance or an ethical stance – this is very much an insurance decision,” he said. “We don’t think we can accurately and fairly price the risk of regret.”
NSW has publicly funded gender clinics at Westmead Hospital and Maple Leaf House in Newcastle.
As of March 2023, there were 139 clients aged under 25 waiting for treatment at Maple Leaf House, though a spokesperson said not all those patients would be seeking medical-affirming care.
In Victoria, the Monash Health Gender Clinic is the only specialist public service available to transgender people between the ages of 16 and 18.
The company said the decision would affect “well under a hundred” of its 40,000 members.

Source: Gender transition insurance cover cut for GPs in Australia

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