Gender affirmation surgeries have always been on the costlier side. However, the C OVID-19 pandemic has made things even worse for the LGBTQ community. Transgender persons in Tamil Nadu have to shell out nearly double their previous payment for their gender reaffirmation procedure. According to some people belonging to the community in the state, the most basic procedure of gender reaffirmation, which previously cost ₹80,000, now costs anywhere between ₹1,30,000 anda ₹1,50,000.
Post Treatment Cost Is ₹50,000
The New Indian Express quoted M Taslima Nasrin, a transwoman and the founder of Coimbatore Change Trust, as saying "Earlier, the only option for transgender persons was to go to cities such Mumbai or New Delhi for the surgery. Now, private hospitals perform it in Chennai and Coimbatore. The cost, however, has increased manifold since the pandemic with an increase in prices of medical equipment and tests." Additionally, she mentioned that post-surgery treatment cost ₹50,000.
Stanley Medical College was the government hospital that offered gender reaffirmation surgeries until Rajaji hospital in Madurai started a clinic offering such services recently. Nasrin highlighted that several transgender persons are reluctant to go to government hospitals due to the quality of treatment and the time the procedure takes. D Shilpa, the coordinator of the Trust, said, "We were recognised as 'Thirununangai' by former chief minister M Karunanidhi. Considering our situation, he facilitated the surgery at the government hospital".
Health Secretary Refuted Allegations
Shilpa further added that she underwent the procedure at Stanley Medical College Hospital, but improper treatment blocked her urinary path. Due to the mishap, she had to undergo another surgery at a private hospital in Chennai within four months. However, Health Secretary J Rajakrishnan responded, saying that there was no poor treatment in government hospitals; if at all government facilities had issues, the secretary mentioned that they were willing to rectify those issues.