(ThePatriotWire)- Stars and Stripes reported on Wednesday that DOD medical professionals in Europe are increasing their attempts to locate civilian providers of hormone therapy and other gender-affirming procedures for the children of U.S. military members stationed overseas.
Citing military health authorities, the DOD has decided to stop providing medical treatment and counseling to new patients since only one physician is stationed on the continent specializing in transgender therapies for kids. U.S. military hospitals in Europe are referring more patients to European hospitals in hopes of finding more that participate in the Department of Defense’s Tricare health insurance program.
A representative for the Landstuhl hospital in Germany told Stars and Stripes that Tricare is “actively striving to discover other clinics who can give care” to the families of US servicemembers looking into transition possibilities.
The official said that Landstuhl had to halt taking in new patients in October due to a lack of staff.
Peter Graves, a spokesman for the Defense Health Agency, said apart from Walter Reed, Landstuhl is the only other U.S. military hospital in Europe to provide transgender therapies, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy, and puberty blockers, to kids.
These treatments have been covered by Tricare since 2016, albeit the program does not cover gender-affirming surgery for minors.
Since Tricare started covering hormone therapy and other associated treatments for transgender service members and their families, the number has risen dramatically.
A rise from 135 transgender youth in 2010 to 528 in the first four months of 2017 was revealed in the research.
According to Stars and Stripes, only two facilities within an hour’s drive of Landstuhl do transition-related treatments.
Do No Harm found that when compared to other countries, the United States has some of the most permissive legislation regarding transgender care. Due to the widespread belief that all or almost all puberty inhibitors, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries are inherently unsafe due to their experimental nature, most European governments have enacted stricter regulations concerning their availability.