Gender Surgery Program BC Update
A message from Gender Surgery Program BC...
"As you all know, these are unprecedented times. The BC Minister of Health has announced that all non-emergency surgeries in BC be cancelled to redirect resources to the growing demands of the COVID-19. The Gender Surgery Program BC is putting all scheduled surgeries on hold as the operating rooms and their resources are being re-utilized to help sustain patients affected by COVID-19. We recognize that this is an incredibly difficult time and that there will be significant negative impacts on our trans, non-binary and gender diverse communities as a result of this situation.
We believe that gender-affirming surgery is an essential and life-saving service and we hope to get back to this important work soon. We are in a state of emergency and the health care system is doing what we can to keep you, your family, your loved ones safe.
We still have some limited availability for appointments via telehealth or phone and for urgent in-person appointments. Get in touch if you have an urgent or pressing matter. Our waitlist for gender-affirming lower surgery remain open and we are still accepting new referrals. It is expected that procedures and in-person appointments will resume when the situation has stabilized."
Visit GSPBC's website for their contact info:
Montreal GRS Update
GRS Montreal continues to post updates on their website, which can be found here: https://www.grsmontreal.com/
Trans Care BC will continue to provide relevant updates about access to all gender-affirming surgeries as they arise. If you have any questions, our Care Coordination team can be reached at 1-866-999-1514 (toll-free) or email Transcareteam@phsa.ca.
March 23, 2020
Continuing to Provide Surgical Readiness Assessments
- At this time, Trans Care BC is continuing to provide surgical readiness assessments through a virtual platform.
- Trans Care BC is asking that surgical readiness assessors please let us know if (and how) you are continuing doing assessments during the response to COVID-19. This will help our Care Coordination Team have updated information for clients. Please contact the Care Coordination Team at Transcareteam@phsa.ca or 1-866-999-1514.
Increase to Wait Times in the Future
- We will continue to accept referrals to the Central Waitlist for upper surgeries.
- Unfortunately, there will be increased wait times to access all non-emergency procedures now and once this pandemic response plan becomes inactive.
- It is expected that procedures will resume when the situation has stabilized and that, over time, wait lists will improve.
Support for Clients
- Trans Care BC Care Coordination Team if available 5 days a week for clients and service providers.
- The team can support clients to access resources to help during this difficult time.
- Our Care Coordination team can be reached at 1-866-999-1514 (toll-free) or email Transcareteam@phsa.ca.
Today, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and Health Minister recapped the situation across B.C. and highlighted the importance of paying attention to changing conditions.
The PHO issued a new order that personal service establishments, such as salons, spas, massage, and tattoo parlors, must close until further notice as they required direct contact.
Unfortunately, this means that funded medically-necessary hair removal services will also be suspended until further notice. We will continue to provide up-to-date information as it becomes available. Please feel free reach out to our care team should you require additional information or support at 1-866-999-1514 (toll-free) or email Transcareteam@phsa.ca.
For the most up to date information on COVID-19, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19 .
Announcement from GRS Montreal:
With the recommendations of the Government of Quebec to limit access to non-essential services to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus and following the latest directives from the Ministry of Health and Social Services regarding elective surgeries, it is with sadness that we must announce to you that the CMC Surgical Complex is forced to cease its surgical activities for an indefinite period. Any surgical intervention must therefore be postponed until the socio-sanitary instructions of the Government of Quebec allow us to resume our activities.
We understand that this can be difficult for you, but we care about your health and safety. The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is an unusual reality that can affect people physically and psychologically. In this context, you may experience reactions of stress, anxiety or depression. If so, we strongly encourage you to ask for help.
We are currently working on a plan that will allow us to resume our activities as soon as the measures are lifted and to minimize waiting times when activities resume.
Know that we will maintain some active services. It will therefore be possible for people who have had surgery to communicate with the postoperative clinic by leaving a message at 514 333-1572 or by writing an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, however, that resources will be limited and that we will only respond to emergencies.
For any other information or question, we advise you to:
- consult the postoperative information documents provided during your convalescence;
consult your doctor if you experience a change in your medical condition. He can communicate with us at any time at 514-333-1572 ext. 200.
Contact your local emergency services if your situation requires immediate medical attention.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will contact you as soon as possible once the situation has returned to normal.
Yesterday, the BC Minister of Health announced that all non-emergency surgeries in BC will be cancelled in efforts to increase hospital support and capacity to meet the growing demands of COVID-19 cases. At this time the impact of this decision on gender-affirming surgeries is unknown, however we anticipate that most surgeries will be cancelled. The situation may differ from region to region. If you are scheduled for an upcoming surgery, please reach out to your surgeon's office for more information.
As of today (March 17, 2020), we understand that planned Montreal GRS surgeries are going forward but additional screening measures will be in place and only Canadian residents will receive surgery at this time. We also understand that the VCH Gender Surgery Program BC has cancelled all planned surgeries to free up hospital beds at Vancouver General Hospital.
Unfortunately, there will be increased wait
times to access all non-emergency procedures now and once this pandemic
response plan becomes inactive. It is expected that procedures will resume when the situation has stabilized and that, over time, wait lists will improve.
Responding to COVID-19 is a priority for our health care system. These difficult decisions were made as a precaution to protect people from unnecessary risk of exposure, to save health care resources and to ensure necessary resources are available for when people do have surgeries.
Trans Care BC will work with our partners in care to ensure that cancelled consults and surgeries are re-booked. We understand that this will be difficult news for many people waiting for gender-affirming care. We also understand how necessary access to these surgeries is for trans and gender diverse people and regret that there is not more we can do about this issue at this time. We will continue to provide up-to-date information as it becomes available. Please feel free reach out to our care team should you require additional information or support at 1-866-999-1514 (toll-free) or email Transcareteam@phsa.ca.
For the most up to date information on COVID-19, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website at http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19.