British Health Authorities Agree To Pay For Breast Augmentation Of Transsexual

by Gopalan on  January 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM Lifestyle News
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The National Health Service, South East Essex, has agreed to pick up the tab for the breast augmentation surgery of a transsexual, costing around £8,000.
 British Health Authorities Agree To Pay For Breast Augmentation Of Transsexual
British Health Authorities Agree To Pay For Breast Augmentation Of Transsexual

Miranda Lee, 40, had been granted £10,000 of Legal Aid to challenge health bosses after they refused her request for surgery and won the case.

Miss Lee from Southend, Essex, lived as a woman for two years before undergoing surgery in July last year at Charing Cross Hospital in London.

N.H.S. Trust, South Essex Primary Care, paid for her genital surgery and then refused to pay for her breast surgery.

She had her male genitalia removed and her voice altered to make her sound more like a woman. The £60,000 procedure was paid for from a shared primary care trust budget.   But when Miss Lee asked for an £8,000 boob job she was turned down.

Ms Lee pleaded her case in stark terms: "I was born with a female brain, have suffered constant abuse throughout my life, and was even married. In my determination to become a woman, I've lost almost everything ... and now the health trust has left me half-man and half-woman. They should do top and bottom, not just half," she said.

She says the decision not to complete her journey to a 'real woman' has left her with mental health issues. "They don't understand how it feels to be left half man, half woman. They should do top and bottom, not just half," she said.

Miss Lee said the decision had left her suicidal and taking antidepressants.

"They were aware of the high number of suicide among people who haven't had their gender operations completed but they still turned me down."

Miss Lee was granted legal aid to take action against the health trust and pledged to take her battle to the High Court if necessary. She appealed the decision and has now won her case.

Miss Lee, who was formerly Raymond Harwood, said: "I got a letter two days before Christmas confirming I would get the breast argumentation done and I've got an appointment to see a consultant at Broomfield Hospital in January.

"Now I can get on with the rest of my life and stop spending days thinking about killing myself."

She said: "Since I found out friends have said I'm a lot happier and more relaxed."

There was this fifteen-year-old English girl who launched a public campaign in 2001 to obtain permission for breast implants on her sixteenth birthday.  Franklin, who wore a 34A brassiere, sought C or D size cups.

She had told the B.B.C. then: "You've got to have breasts to be successful. Every other person you see on television has had implants. I used to pray my boobs would grow. Then I thought, what's the use when I can have implants when I want? I just want to be happy with my body and I think having my breasts enlarged will give me more self-confidence."

Although the NHS pays for gender reassignment for transsexuals since 1999, at a cost of approximately £10,000 per procedure, precisely how much masculinsation or feminisation should be funded by the taxpayers remains a matter of controversy. Local trusts baulk, citing all kinds of rules. 

And there is this argument that at a time of budgetary constraints, when there are long waits for many critical health services, the system could not afford to pay for what are essentially cosmetic procedures.

Source: Medindia

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