- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Veterans Healthcare Administration is letting its hospitals and clinics know that transgender veterans are eligible for hormones, care before and after gender surgery, and mental health counseling as part of their regular benefits.

In a directive issued Thursday, the VA reiterated that its facilities are not permitted to perform genital surgeries on veterans in the process of changing genders.

But the agency confirmed that transgender patients are entitled to routine health care and to transgender-specific treatments such as as hormone therapy and “long-term care following sex reassignment surgery.”

Transgender activists have been pressuring the VA for years to make such a statement. They maintain care of transgender veterans varies too much from facility to facility.

The VA quietly posted the directive but has not commented on it.

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Online: http://www.va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pub_ID2416

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