Reconstructive lower surgery for transgender people will soon be available in British Columbia.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says the trans community has advocated for a number of years for improved access to care for the complex surgeries in B.C.
Up until now, those wanting the surgery had to travel to Montreal or the United States, which Dix says resulted in additional medical risks associated with travelling long distances after surgery and with follow-up care.
The Health Ministry says gender-affirming surgery will be available at Vancouver Coastal Health starting next year and trans people will also have improved access to publicly funded chest and breast surgeries throughout the province.
Dix says B.C. is the first province in Western Canada to provide the surgeries.
The government says about 100 people travel out of the province for the lower surgeries every year and about 200 chest and breast surgeries are expected to take place in B.C. in the coming year.