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  • Writer's pictureIoannis Ntanos

Planning for the future

An update from Ioannis Ntanos to the community


It is no secret that when it comes to the provision of gender affirming healthcare and surgery for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals, the NHS is far from perfect, despite the often valiant efforts of those who work within the organisation.
 
I made the move into private practice after a long NHS career, primarily so that I could provide timely access to quality gender affirming top surgery without what is broadly known as “the politics”. Additionally, it was also an essential move to protect my mental health, which had suffered as a result of the significant institutional barriers that sadly exist within a public healthcare system.
 
Of course, the challenges that exist for the community, when it comes to being able to access private healthcare have not escaped me. While I have kept my fees as low as possible, with the team and infrastructure required to carry out the procedure in the UK, the cost for this essential surgery remains high. Moreover, I have also struggled to find people who share my vision, when it comes to both healthcare and business development.
 
After much research (and not a little soul searching), I have taken the decision to move the majority of my practice to Athens, Greece from June 2024.
 
To be clear, this is not a decision I have taken lightly and I am filled with mixed emotions. I want to be able to provide the kind of care people deserve, free at the point of access. I want gender affirming care which recognises the needs of the individual and puts them at the heart of everything to be the gold standard, irrespective of who is performing the surgery. I want to be able to help everyone who needs access to top surgery. I also need to stay away from idealism (which is a challenge as I am a poet at heart!) and focus on more achievable goals.
 
The move has a number of important implications for my life:
1. It will allow me to be with and support my family.
2. It means I can open up my list and accept new patients, hopefully in a timely manner.
3. It means that I will be able to offer top surgery at a significantly lower cost compared to the UK market.
 
All this is currently in full planning mode and there is absolutely no obligation for you to come with me to Athens, I fully understand that for some this will not be an option. For those who are open to the idea, it is important to note that you will receive the same high levels of care you have come to expect from me, but at a reduced cost - 50% less than you would expect to pay in the UK - even with flights and accommodation taken into account.
 
For the time being, I will be adding some additional theatre slots in the UK until September 2024, via a short-term collaboration with the Transform Hospital Group, who will be contacting patients based on their position on the waiting list, on my behalf.
 
Further information will be communicated in a timely manner via the website and on social media over the coming weeks and months. If you would rather find an alternative provider, I fully understand and I wish you all the best in the world.
 
Working with the trans community has given me the kind of career I could have only dreamed of. This is a community which proves itself time and again to be endlessly gracious, thoughtful and intelligent. My first hand experiences have only deepened my affinity for this group and made me not only a better ally but, I hope, a better accomplice.
 
I am excited about this new chapter in my journey and look forward to continuing to serve the UK trans+ community from my new home, as well as ensuring that those individuals in my native Greece, are able to access the gender affirming care they deserve.
 
You can access answers to Frequently Asked Questions here and if there are any matters that have not been addressed please feel free to drop me an email and we will add your question to our FAQ.
 
In solidarity, 
 
Ioannis

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