Friday, 2 May 2014 - 10:19
VU refuses to treat 250 transgenders
Since December, around 250 transgender people considering undergoing gender reassignment surgery have gone to the VU medical center in Amsterdam for treatment. This comes from a letter to Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health by the Netherlands Care Authority (NZa) on Thursday. The Care Authority is researching why these potential transgender patients are not being given the surgery they ask for. The hospital introduced a 'patient stop' at the end of last year due to a conflict with insurers about the budget. According to the healthcare watchdog, this refusal to treat pre-op transgenders is very harmful to their mental well-being. This is why the NZa is issuing an urgent call to parties to find a solution as quickly as possible, and is calling the current situation "disturbing and undesirable", the AD reports. The VUmc is the biggest is the biggest provider of transgender care in the Netherlands and is the only hospital in the country that offers gender reassignment surgery for all sexes and ages. According to the hospital itself, there is a lack of money for the treatment. Currently, the hospital has a budget of €3 million provided by insurers for this year. At this moment, the NZa is investigating whether it can intervene, for example by enforcing a care contract be signed by the parties involved. If the NZa takes measures, this will happen half-July at the earliest, according to the watchdog.