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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Gender-affirming health services in Canterbury

Ratonga hauora whakatūturu ira ki Waitaha

The following services are available in Canterbury through the public health system. You can ask your general practice team for more information on how to access these services and how soon you can expect an appointment.

Accessing these services in Canterbury

Accessing any gender affirming healthcare services in Canterbury starts with a talk with your general practice team. If you do not have a general practice team, or do not feel comfortable talking to your current general practice team about your gender affirming healthcare needs, Qtopia offers a healthcare navigation service that can help you get enrolled with a general practice team with experience around gender diversity. See Support networks for transgender & gender diverse people & their whānau.

Accessing hormone therapy in Canterbury differs depending on your age. If you're over 20, you may be able to access gender affirming hormone therapy through an "informed consent" process with your general practice team. This means you might not need a readiness assessment or to meet with an endocrinologist.

If your general practice team doesn’t have experience in starting gender affirming hormone therapy, they might refer you to another general practice team with that experience to get you started, but do not worry, you won’t have to pay more than you usually would to see your own general practice team. The specialist general practice team will then refer you back to your regular general practice team to continue your prescription.

If you're under 20, you may still need a readiness assessment before starting gender affirming hormone therapy. Your general practice team will talk to you about your options for this assessment. You may choose to access this assessment through the private system.

Accessing voice therapy or training, fertility preservation (sperm storage), and surgical services also begin with a conversation with your general practice team, who will refer you to the appropriate service.

Referrals for gender affirming surgeries in Waitaha Canterbury require:

Services not available in Canterbury through the public health system

These services aren't yet available in Canterbury through the public health system. You can ask your general practice team if it's possible to access these services privately, in other New Zealand centres or overseas. There may be funding options available for you to access these services through WINZ or another service. Talk to your general practice team about what funding options might be available.

You should also ask about the implications of travelling overseas for treatment, including ACC coverage, post-operative follow up and so on.

Private services available in Canterbury

Name and gender marker changes in your health records

You can ask your health professionals to use your preferred name, gender and pronouns. You do not have to prove that you've transitioned or have changed your name legally to do this. It's enough to ask.

You can also get prescriptions, test results and correspondence from health professionals in your preferred name, gender and title. To do this, you need to ask for the National Health Index (NHI) to be updated. Your general practice team can do this for you. There is no cost to make this change.

While many health information systems are integrated, occasionally records will not get updated correctly. This is often a genuine mistake. If you update your name and gender marker in your health records and keep getting correspondence with wrong details, speak to your general practice team or other health professional. They will try to correct it.

Changes to services

The services available in the Canterbury public health system may change over time. Check with your general practice team, specialists and peer support networks.

You're welcome to send feedback if there is any missing or out-of-date information about gender-affirming services on this page.

Written by Ko Awatea gender-affirming care co-design group. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2023.


Page reference: 615615

Review key: HISOG-53214