Media Release: Wellington September 19th 2022
Speak Up for Women welcomes the recent Ministry of Health guidance changes regarding transgender healthcare and puberty blockers.
We have been approaching the Ministry for some time with concerns about the wording on their website, in particular the insistence up until September 16th 2022 that puberty blockers are “safe and reversible”.
“Blockers are a safe and fully reversible medicine that may be used from early puberty through to later adolescence to help ease distress and allow time to fully explore gender health options.”
There has been concern for this position for some time, and in the UK a recent review by Dr Hilary Cass for the National Health Service (NHS) has resulted in the closure of the NHS Tavistock Clinic in London.
Our various requests over the past few years, for a review of the website guidance have been largely dismissed.
In New Zealand, as in the UK, puberty blockers are not approved by Pharmac for the treatment of gender dysphoria, the long term side effects of their use are largely unknown as is the success rate of resolving or reducing the gender dysphoria they claim to treat.
In the Tavistock, UK, over 99% of the children and young people who took puberty blockers also went on to take cross-sex (or opposite-sex) hormones - which begs the question - are they are pause button or a stepping stone?
On September 16th 2022 the Ministry updated the advice on their website as follows:
“Blockers are sometimes used from early puberty through to later adolescence to allow time to fully explore gender health options. This is done under the guidance of a clinician who specialises in their use.”
More information can be found on the MOH website:
We welcome this small change and hope that in time it is replaced with more research and guidance.