Last year, the UMCG treated 72 trans people with, for example, hormone treatment or sex change surgery. That is more than seven times as many as ten years earlier. At that time it only involved ten trans people, according to figures that the UMCG provided to NU.nl.
The number of trans patients increased steadily over the past decade, with the largest jump in 2016-2017: from 32 to 62 patients. This period doubled the capacity of the gender clinic.
However, that has not been able to solve the long-standing waiting list problem for transgender care. The waiting time for a general intake with the Groningen gender team is currently 68 weeks. Depending on the follow-up steps, such as surgery or speech therapy to get the desired body and the right voice, a couple of weeks of waiting time is involved in the course of the process. There are no concrete plans to increase capacity again.
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Not always an operation
Not every transperson who reports to the hospital actually undergoes surgery. A spokesperson for the UMCG estimates that about 50 of the 72 patients underwent surgery last year.
Aike Pronk, member of the Board of Netwerk Nederland: "It used to be very strict, you were or became completely male or completely female. Nowadays people also realize that they do not feel completely male, but not completely female either. Then they want for example breast surgery, and hormones, but no sex-changing surgery. "
Only Groningen or Amsterdam
In the Netherlands, transpersons can only go to the UMCG and the UMC Amsterdam for the medical process. Children and adolescents under the age of eighteen can already get an intake in Groningen, but are only treated there when they reach the age of majority.
The Amsterdam hospital has been taking care of the bulk of transgender treatments for years. Here too, the number of patients increased considerably between 2011 and 2018 (most recent figures). The number of operations increased from around 150 to almost 700, and the number of gender-confirming hormone treatments from around 150 to 450.
Fewer waiting times than in Amsterdam
The waiting time for an intake is even longer in Amsterdam than in Groningen: minors are on the list for more than 77 weeks, adults for more than 103 weeks.
Board member Pronk argues that the waiting times should be reduced by a large part of the work of Groningen and Amsterdam being picked up by other, more regular care providers. "It is actually not a difficult care at all. One type of treatment is of course more difficult than the other, but every doctor could talk to transpersons, and every pediatrician can prescribe puberty inhibitors."