A recent Costa Rica health program offers publicly-funded hormone therapy for transgender people

Sarah Barrett Jul 12, 2018
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Revelers pose for a selfie as they take part in the Gay Pride Parade in San Jose on June 26, 2016. EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images

A recent Costa Rica health program offers publicly-funded hormone therapy for transgender people

Sarah Barrett Jul 12, 2018
Revelers pose for a selfie as they take part in the Gay Pride Parade in San Jose on June 26, 2016. EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP/Getty Images
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Costa Rica recently created a program to offer hormone replacement therapy for transgender people for free through its national universal health care system. Since the program started in fall of 2017 about 30 people have signed up. The government is expecting around 600 people to sign up. Officials are confident the hormone replacement therapy will be low cost for the country, and might actually defray future costs by keeping people out of the black market where they might fall victim to bad medicine and dirty needles. Right now the program is only available to people 18 years and older and it does not include gender-confirming surgery, however the government is considering expanding the program in the future.

Sarah Barrett reported from Costa Rica on a fellowship from the International Reporting Project.

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