The NHS in Glasgow has been lambasted for offering almost £22k a year for a hair removal specialist for transsexuals.
Health officials in Strathclyde placed an advert for a full-time “Hair Removal Specialist – Transgender Services”, despite criticism that there may only be a handful of transsexuals in the area.
Daily Mail columnist, Richard Littlejohn, blasted the NHS saying it was a “bridge too far”, though he states he isn’t personally against the NHS offering sex-change surgery.
He said: “At a time when public spending is being cut, how can the NHS justify spending nearly 22 grand creating a full-time job which could have been contracted out to one of the many beauty salons offering hair-removal to the fine ladies of Strathclyde.”
The job description says experience of working with transgender clients is essential, as well as having professional electrolysis and laser treatment qualifications.
Mr Littlejohn commented: “Frankly, I’ve no idea how many transgendered people live in the Glasgow area, but I can’t imagine it’s more than a handful.”
“If every NHS Trust suddenly decided it needs a hair removal specialist for its transgender services department, it would soon amount to a hefty chunk of change”, he warned.
Laura Midgeley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, said: “I don’t understand why it’s only for transgendered people – do they not realise that hair removal is just a normal part of life for both women and men?”
She added “You’ve really got to wonder who dreamt this up and how it even got this far.”
Emma Boon of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s appalling the NHS plans to make hundreds of nurses redundant at the same time that it is advertising this.”
She added: “It’s absolutely sickening to see the service pandering to cosmetic treatments at the cost of core services.”
A spokesman for the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board defended the role.
He said transgender surgery and treatment “is complex, with physical and psychological components. A key part of the treatment for the very small number of patients who undergo gender reassignment is the removal of hair.”
The spokeman claimed: “The technician post we are establishing to deliver this service offers better value than contracting the service to the private sector.”
Earlier this week a transsexual from Reading who wanted the NHS to pay for him to have bigger breasts lost his High Court case.
The man, known only as C for legal reasons, wanted West Berkshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) to pay £2,300 for the surgery.
But the PCT refused, claiming the surgery would be “purely for cosmetic reasons”.
The Judge dismissed the case.
Critics of sex-change surgery warn that gender dysphoria is a psychological problem, not a physical one.
In 2002 doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – stated that after surgery, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.
Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism, released in April 2000, said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.