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Israel Lowers Gender Reassignment Age to 18

But candidates approved for the state-subsidized surgery still must go abroad

Lily Wilf
May 14, 2014

The Israeli government has announced changes to their national policies regarding gender reassignment surgery, marking a victory for the Israeli transgender community. Two updates to the health ministry’s regulations, which mandate patient eligibility for the state-subsidized surgery, will make it easier for candidates to gain the necessary approval for the procedure. According to JTA, the new regulations lower the minimum age to be considered for the surgery from 21 to 18, and reduces the required time a candidate must live with the new gender identity before undergoing the surgery from two years to one year.

Changes were also made to the committee that approves gender reassignment requests, which will now include a psychologist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, urologist, as well as a representative of the transgender community.

Even with these policy updates, though, the state-subsidized surgery is difficult to attain. The last such operation was performed in Israel in 2012, JTA reports, and approved candidates currently must leave the country and get the surgery abroad.

Lily Wilf is an editorial intern at Tablet.