Surgery Funding

British Columbia residents are covered through MSP for approved gender-affirming surgeries.

Which gender-affirming surgeries are covered by MSP?

MSP covers:

  • Breast construction (breast augmentation) - only publicly funded in certain circumstances. Request for public funding  must submitted by a plastic surgeon to MSP. See breast construction page for more information.
  • Chest construction (including chest reduction)
  • Orchiectomy
  • Hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
  • Vaginoplasty
  • Vulvoplasty
  • Clitoral release
  • Metoidioplasty 
  • Phalloplasty

MSP currently does not cover:

  • Facial procedures (such as reduction of the Adam's apple, nose feminization, facial bone reduction, face lifts, rejuvenation of the eyelid);
  • Pectoral implants;
  • Hair reconstruction or restoration;
  • Liposuction or lipofilling;
  • Voice surgery.

What associated costs are not covered by MSP?

While MSP pays for the cost of the above surgeries, there are some costs that are not covered. These include:

  • Travel and accommodation costs to and from surgical centres (in BC, Montreal and out-of-country) for all gender-affirming surgeries and surgical revisions. Please note that surgeries for erectile and/or testicular implants will require at least two trips to the surgical centre
  • Supportive garments (for breast construction and chest surgery), and wound care supplies for post-surgery.
  • Other travel related costs: travel insurance, accommodation (as needed outside of surgical care), accompaniment's travel and accommodation cost (if applicable).

How do people pay for their extra surgery costs?

Unfortunately, additional costs may be a barrier to surgery for some people. Alternate or additional funding strategies people have used to cover these costs include:

  • Medical EI may be an option to those who are working and who qualify
  • Speak with your employer or HR regarding Short Term Disability, Sick Time or Vacation Time that may be utilized during your time off work for surgery
  • Organize fundraisers online or in person to raise money for additional costs associated with surgery
  • Checking with your Extended Benefits program
  • For those covered through First Nations Health Authority, funding for certain medical supplies/equipment may be available. Support for medical travel expenses may also be provided if procedures are covered either by MSP or by an FNHA benefit and the procedure is being provided outside your community of residence.

What if I am on provincial disability assistance or income assistance?

If you are on provincial disability assistance, you may wish to contact the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to discuss funding for travel, support garments, and other medically necessary supplies. Your primary care provider can write a letter of support to obtain these funds.

Is travel assistance available?

You can apply to Hope Air, a Canadian charity that arranges free flights with commercial carriers, for people who are covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) and who must travel to health care. The assistance is based on financial need. 

BC also offers travel assistance through the Medical Services Plan (MSP) Travel Assistance Program (TAP). If you are approved for TAP, you may also qualify for a Request for Non-local Medical Transportation Assistance.

For people covered by First Nations Health Authority, coverage for meals, accommodation and transportation may be covered for those who qualify.

If you need additional advice or support, please contact our health navigation team.

SOURCE: Surgery Funding ( )
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