Brownstein & Crane Surgical Services
Curtis Crane, M.D.
208 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 207
San Francisco, Ca 94107
To whom it may concern:
Sex reassignment surgery is considered medically necessary as outlined in this excerpt from the standards of care of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health.
Sex Reassignment is Effective and Medically Indicated in severe gender identity disorder (GID). In persons diagnosed with transsexualism or profound GID, sex reassignment surgery, along with hormone therapy and real-life experience, is a treatment that has proven to be effective. Such a therapeutic regimen, when prescribed or recommended by qualified practitioners, is medically indicated and medically necessary. Sex reassignment is not “experimental”, “investigational, “elective”, “cosmetic”, or optional in any meaningful sense. It constitutes very effective and appropriate treatment for transsexualism or profound GID.
Currently, there is a lack of access to medically necessary sex reassignment surgery in Australia as no surgeon trained in this subspecialty is available. There are a few hundred trans patients in Australia who are in need of sex reassignment surgery to relieve the stress of living with gender dysphoria. With no government or medical insurance support a trans individual is faced with a sum of approximately $50,000 – 150,000 US dollars as well as associated travel costs to establish a sense of everyday mental well being.
American patients now have considerable support growing from insurance companies, as do the UK citizens. The New Zealand Government has recently begun subsidizing and funding their citizens to come to the US for medically necessary surgeries, however, the Australian patients still have no means other than to pay the fees in full and associated travel costs personally. This is significantly limiting the ability for Australian transgender patients to reach the necessary medical care they require from the small amount of specialized surgeons who can support them.
In order to help such patients, I have completed residencies in both urology and plastic surgery and fellowships in reconstructive urology and transgender surgery. I have a private practice in San Francisco called Brownstein and Crane Surgical Services and we currently offer the world's highest standard in phalloplasty and vaginoplasty, genital reconstruction needed for trans men and women.
It is my professional opinion that this be reviewed in the Australian Medical System with hopes of establishing a system so that patients can be supported financially to receive care from myself and other medical colleagues.
Curtis Crane, MD
CC: Andrew Guy