Transgender Health Services
Transgender health services may be accessed through your family physician, nurse practitioner or community mental health provider. Speak with your health care provider for help with your transition.
What does it mean to be transgender?
A transgender person is someone who may act, feel or view their gender identity differently from the gender they were born with. They may identify as male or female, or may feel that neither label fits them. In order to express their chosen gender, transgender people may transition or change their appearance from the gender they were given at birth.
What does it mean to transition?
Transitioning occurs when a person changes from one gender to a different gender. Transitioning may include:
- Medical (hormones, surgeries)
- Social (coming out, expressing your gender outwardly)
- Legal (changing your name and gender on identification)
What is hormone therapy?
Hormone therapy is a medical treatment that will suppress and/or add to a body’s natural masculine or feminine hormones. Hormone therapy usually begins after you have been assessed for both mental and physical health and readiness by a qualified health professional.
PEI Pharmacare helps Islanders with the cost of eligible prescription medications. You may be eligible to receive either partial or full coverage through one of the drug cost assistance programs.
What is gender-confirming surgery?
Gender-confirming surgery which is also referred to as gender affirming or sex reassignment surgery, includes:
- the removal of internal and external organs associated with the current gender;
- the reconstruction of external characteristics of the desired gender; and
- procedures to enhance the appearance to more closely match the desired gender.
What is the process if I want gender-confirming surgery?
If you are considering gender-confirming surgery, as a first step, you should discuss your wishes with your family physician, nurse practitioner or community mental health provider. You will be assessed for clinical eligibility using criteria established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). This assessment is required by Canadian jurisdictions that insure these surgeries. The WPATH assessment involves a comprehensive psychiatric assessment and prolonged medical management before considering surgery as an option. Medical management depends on your particular needs and may include access to endocrinology (hormone therapy).
When you have received a positive recommendation from your physician and approval by PEI Medicare, a surgical plan will be developed with a medical team.
What procedures are covered?
Prince Edward Island covers the following procedures:
Female to Male
- clitoral release
- erectile/testicular implant
- mastectomy with chest masculinization
Male to Female
- orchiectomy (or also referred to as orchidectomy)
What procedures are performed in PEI?
Hysterectomies, mastectomies (without chest masculinization), oophorectomies, orchiectomies and penectomies are performed in PEI. All other surgeries are performed out-of-province. Your physician will need to request approval from PEI Medicare for any surgery required out-of-province. In general, travel and accommodation costs are not covered.
What if I don’t have a family doctor?
If you do not have a family doctor, call 1-855-563-2101 (toll-free), or complete the Patient Registry Application Form online to register. In the absence of a family doctor, you can make an appointment with Community Mental Health.
How can I change my name and gender on my PEI Health Card?
You must first submit an application to Vital Statistics for the legal change of your name and gender.
To legally change your name, you must be 18 years of age or older and reside in PEI for at least three months. If you are the legal guardian of a minor under the age of 18 who has been living in the province for at least three months, you can apply to legally change their name on their behalf. Learn more about legally changing your name and the applicable fees.
As of June 2016, the Vital Statistics Act [PDF | 220 KB] was amended to make it easier for transgender people to change their gender on government issued identification. You can apply to change your gender on your birth certificate by submitting:
- a written declaration stating that you assume, identify with, and intend to maintain the gender identity that corresponds with the requested amendment; and
- a written statement from a medical practitioner who is authorized to practice medicine in the province, confirming that the sex recorded on your registration of birth does not correspond with the your gender identity.
If you were born in PEI, contact Vital Statistics at 1-877-320-1253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org If you were not born in PEI, contact the government agency responsible for issuing birth certificates where you were born.
Once your name and gender has been legally changed, you contact the PEI Medicare Office at 1-800-321-5492 to request a name and gender change on your PEI Health Card and health record. You may be required to provide your new birth certificate.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a patient?
Everyone has the right to receive the best and safest health care possible, including the right to express yourself in relation to your care. You are responsible to be an involved patient – you are encouraged to ask questions, listen to the answers and talk about any concerns you may have. Learn more.