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Doctors in trans refuge states fight for more resources as demand skyrockets

Started by Jessica_Rose, April 03, 2024, 11:44:55 AM

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Doctors in trans  refuge states fight for more resources as demand skyrockets

Story by Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn (3 April 2024)

At the start of 2023, the wait time for new patients at the Children's Minnesota Hospital's Gender Health Program was nearly a year long. When neighboring states began banning gender-affirming care for trans youth, the program's call volume increased 30 percent. At one point, the wait time was as long as 18 months, which placed immense stress on trans youth, their families, and the doctors and staff trying to serve them.

This chaos led Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, Chief Education Officer and Medical Director of the Gender Health Program, to testify in early March in support of HF 3386. Introduced by state Rep. Leigh Finke (D) – the state's first out trans legislator – the bill would provide $1 million to train Minnesota physicians to provide gender-affirming care. As Dr. Goepferd knows all too well, this care can be life-saving.

"What if their families aren't able to support them because they're not getting their questions answered?" Dr. Goepferd lamented, referring to the many kids on the waitlist for care. "What if they're dealing with unsupportive family members or communities or schools, and they don't know how to access resources, and they're just sitting on our waiting list?

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