Final Stage Gender Reassignment Surgery*

(Program name under review by Alberta Health. Alberta Health has aligned the program name with the ‘gender reassignment’ terminology used by The Centre Métropolitain de Chirurgie (CMC) clinic in Montreal that provides this surgery.)

Gender Transition

Gender transition is a lifelong process. Although gender identity and gender expression are often similar, they do not always match. A person may express gender in a way that is different from how they feel.

There are several steps in the gender surgical transition process. Treatment is individualized.  When considering a surgical option, discuss your needs with your family physician or your primary care provider (PCP) such as a psychologist or nurse practitioner. Based on your specific circumstances and your health, your physician or PCP may prescribe medication and/or refer you to specific specialists to match the surgical approach to your needs.

Your physician/PCP will likely refer you to a psychiatrist who is registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta as having a special interest in transgender health. Your psychiatrist will guide you through the transition process and the steps required.

Final Stage Gender Reassignment Surgery Program

Gender reassignment surgery, also known as gender-affirming surgery, changes primary sex characteristics so they correspond with a person’s gender identity.

Who funds gender reassignment surgery?

The Final Stage Gender Reassignment Surgery Program provides funding for Alberta residents to obtain final stage gender reassignment surgeries such as phalloplasty or vaginoplasty. Funding is available to eligible Albertans diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria who meet the established program criteria.

Surgery is the last step in the medical transition process and is not appropriate or desired by all individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

What is not funded?

Some medical services are not covered by the province. Uninsured services include the following:

  • Procedures that are cosmetic in nature, such as facial feminization, breast augmentation, tracheal shave and voice pitch surgery;
  • Non-medical interventions such as massage therapy and laser hair removal or electrolysis; and
  • Take-home medications and equipment.

Personal expenses, such as meals and accommodation, are also the patient’s responsibility.

Who qualifies?

The Final Stage Gender Reassignment Surgery program is available to Albertans who are diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria by a psychiatrist and who meet program criteria, which are based on internationally recognized standards.

Where is it provided?

This surgical expertise is provided at the Centre Metropolitain de Chirurgie in Montreal.

Who Can Apply?

A psychiatrist must apply for this funding on your behalf.

More information on the application can be found at Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan Med 166A.

A practitioner registered under the Health Professions Act, who is authorized to use the title “psychiatrist” and has a practice interest in transgender health, may apply for funding on behalf of a patient. As of September 6, 2017, the following Alberta psychiatrists are accepting patients for Alberta’s Final Stage GRS program:

Dr. Justin Petryk - Edmonton

Dr. Joe Raiche - Calgary

Dr. David Gibbs - Calgary

Dr. Michael Marshall - Edmonton

Dr. Jane Gainer - Hanna

As the psychiatrists who provide this service may change over time, you can also search the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta website to find physicians whose medical practice includes transgender health.

You can also find a doctor through Health Link by calling 811, or by contacting the Primary Care Network in your area.