There has been a significant rise in the number of people seeking gender realignment surgery in Northern Ireland, it has emerged.
In the 2017/18 financial year, 47 people had requested funding for the surgery, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Board.
This represents a substantial increase in comparison with figures from just a few years ago, the BBC report.
In 2012/13, there were just 10 requests for funding and 16 the following year.
Gender realignment surgery involves changing a person’s sexual characteristics to resemble the opposite sex.
It is a treatment recommended by the NHS in some cases after other treatment options have been explored to treat a psychological condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity, known as gender dysphoria.
The surgery is not performed in Northern Ireland, but patients can request the surgery through the Health and Social Care Board before travelling elsewhere in the UK to undergo the procedure, the BBC report.