Funding for Transition Surgeries

LGBTQ2S+ / Sexual and Gender Diversity

Medical Transition

There are several options available for medical transition including hormone therapy and feminizing or masculinizing surgery. Treatment is individualized. Based on your specific health care requirements, your health care provider may prescribe medication (e.g. hormones) or refer you to a Psychiatrist or another expert in transgender care who is registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. You don’t always need to be assessed by a Psychiatrist (see below). If you decide that surgery may be needed to relieve your symptoms of gender dysphoria, your health care provider may also refer you to specific specialists to match the surgical approach with your needs.

When considering a surgical option, discuss your needs with your health care provider as they are the best pathway to care.

Phalloplasty, Metoidioplasty, & Vaginoplasty Procedures

This Alberta Health funding program was established under a Ministerial Order with specific program criteria and is not funded under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).

Alberta Health provides once per lifetime funding for eligible Alberta residents diagnosed with gender dysphoria who meet the established program criteria to receive Phalloplasty, metoidioplasty or Vaginoplasty. Patients must undergo two independent assessments by Psychiatrists or other physicians with extensive training or clinical experience in assessing and managing the mental health needs of the transgender population, and be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

Though the program requires two diagnoses of gender dysphoria from Alberta practitioners with extensive training or clinical experience in assessing and managing the needs of the transgender population, any physician licensed in Alberta (psychiatrist, family physician, or others) can submit the application documents to Alberta Health. This means that the patient can be referred to other clinicians with expertise by their family physician, and the family physician may then submit the documents received from other physicians as part of the patient’s application package.  Only complete applications will be processed. Alberta Health will return incomplete applications to the applying physician. Download application forms..

Surgeries for Phalloplasty, metoidioplasty or Vaginoplasty are provided at the Centre Metropolitain de Chirurgie in Montreal.

Not Funded by Alberta Health

  • Procedures such as facial feminization, tracheal shave and voice pitch surgery
  • Non-medical interventions such as massage therapy and laser hair removal or electrolysis
  • Take-home medications and equipment
  • Personal expenses, meals and accommodation

Breast Augmentation & Mastectomy

As of January 21, 2019, patients undergoing surgical transition, breast augmentation and mastectomy must have pre-approval from Alberta Health. A surgeon or primary care provider (PCP) must validate a patient’s eligibility using the Request for Breast Surgery form. Patients must undergo one independent assessment by a Psychiatrist or other physician with extensive training or clinical experience in assessing and managing the mental health needs of the transgender population, and be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

To meet eligibility criteria for payment, the applying surgeon must submit the pre-approval form to Alberta Health. Note - to qualify for breast augmentation for cis and transwomen as an insured service, the patient must have little to no breast growth as clinically determined by the surgeon. Download the approved form Request for Breast Surgery.

For more information regarding insured services, see Health Care Services Covered in Alberta, update to breast augmentation bulletin and billing codes bulletin.

Resources

Advisory - Changes due to COVID-19

Note: to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Alberta Health staff may be working remotely. All funding applications and urgent questions only should be emailed to oochsc@gov.ab.ca.

COVID-19 Update for GRS Montréal: Open for All Surgeries

Patients must provide proof of vaccination. Patients must also provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of admission to GRS Montréal.

Upon arrival in Montreal, patients will stay 24 to 48 hrs at the clinic’s partner hotel before admission to GRS Montréal, the morning of the surgery. This accommodation is provided by the clinic.

A 2-week confinement may be mandatory under public health recommendations if patients are suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms. The patient is required to pay for the extra costs of the isolation period before or after surgery.

Otherwise, after convalescence, there is no contraindication to travel.

Contact GRS Montréal at 514-288-2097 for questions about costs during potential isolation periods.

Patients should contact GRS Montréal at 514-288-2097 to discuss concerns about delayed surgery due to COVID-19. GRS Montreal is responsible for scheduling and facility operation.

For further details please see the GRS Montreal COVID-19 Preparedness Strategy.

For more information:

Patients

  • Consult the postoperative documents you received during your stay at GRS Montreal
  • Consult your treating physician if you note any changes in your health status

Physicians

Contact GRS Montreal at 514-333-1572, ext. 200 or email asclepiade@cmcmontreal.com. Note: This line is for physicians only

COVID-19 Travel Disruptions

Return travel may be disrupted due to the pandemic. Patients may be required to remain outside of Alberta longer than expected.

If your medically necessary travel has been approved by Alberta Health and booked, contact Alberta Health at oochsc@gov.ab.ca to confirm or change travel arrangements.

Read more COVID-19 travel advice.

Find more information at Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Travel advice - Canada.ca