Greens announce plans to make gender affirming healthcare free on medicare

2021-11-23

Media release 

The Australian Greens have today announced their plan to make gender affirming healthcare a permanent part of Medicare, investing $15 million per year to cover the out of pocket costs experienced by trans and gender diverse people in accessing gender affirming healthcare. 

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:

“Trans and gender diverse people deserve to feel affirmed for their gender expression.

“Last year, 48% of transgender and gender diverse people aged 14 to 25 reported that they had attempted suicide in their lifetime. As a society, we are failing trans people. We have the power to turn this around.

“A young community member started this petition to cover affirmative healthcare for trans and gender diverse people under Medicare, and it has gathered over 140,000 signatures. It’s a privilege to bring those voices to the parliament today as I table this petition in the house of representatives.”

Quotes attributable to Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson:

“Gender affirming healthcare should be free on Medicare.

“Healthcare is a human right. No matter how much is in your bank account, everyone should be able to access healthcare to alleviate suffering and improve their lives.

“Australia cannot truly claim we have a universal healthcare system until all of us have equal access to essential services.

“Everyone has the right to have their specific health needs met with equity, dignity and respect, and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure this is no different for trans and gender diverse Australians.“

“Gender affirming healthcare can be life-saving for some trans and gender diverse people, but the significant barriers and costs make accessing healthcare prohibitive for many, or mean they end up with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. This is unacceptable in a wealthy country like ours.

“It’s beyond clear that there's great need for gender affirming surgeries in our community, with over 140,000 people signing a parliamentary petition - the fifth most-signed on record - calling for coverage in Medicare. The Greens are proud to be tabling this petition in parliament today and fighting alongside LGBTIQA+ Australians for equality.

“With this $15 million a year investment, and removing legislative and policy barriers in the current systems, the Greens will ensure trans and gender diverse Australians have access to free, holistic, and affirming medical care, including access to surgical procedures, prescribed hormones, products and services to affirm their gender.”