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trans* peer support memo for non-EU students

Download trans*peer support memo as PDF

Memo by Queer Fem* Referat compiled with the participation of Iain Zabolotny and Farah Bazant.
Proofread by Cha(i)nge Trans Peer Group Vienna.

As a non-EU student, am I eligible for gender reassignment surgery under the student insurance?

Yes, ÖGK covers gender affirming treatments, no matter the citizenship of the insured person. This includes hormone replacement therapy, top surgery, and bottom surgery.

What doctors do I need to visit to gather all the necessary documents for the surgery?

In general in the ÖGK healthcare system you need three different documents: a psychological evaluation, a psychotherapist’s note, and a psychiatrist’s diagnosis. With the three documents (psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist) you can start HRT*.
You can make an appointment with an endocrinologist at the Transgender Clinic at the AKH Wien (you have to have notes from the psychotherapist to make the appointment) or any other endocrinologist. Waiting times can be super long at AKH, so it might make sense to just go to a random one. The endocrinologist will prescribe you the first HRT and give you the necessary paperwork to get the HRT approved. Bring along a translator; Legally this is the hospital’s responsibility, but they will most likely not provide one anyway. You can skip the endocrinologist if your Hausarzt (General practitioner) is allowed to prescribe HRT.

It is important to plan everything well as all of the Stellungnahmen expires after one year, so if something is taking longer (as waiting times might be quite long), you might have to get a new one and some therapists/doctors are also willing to change the date when contacted. Also you do not need to wait for one of the notes to get another one, so you can call all the doctors at the same time and make appointments as soon as possible, which will reduce the waiting time.

Will I be able to change my name on my ID card after I receive certificates of my transgender status?

Unfortunately, if you want to change your gender marker or name in your documents officially afterwards, you will have to do it in your country of origin first and later apply for new documents in Austria. If your country of origin does not offer legal gender certification, changing your name on your ID card may not be possible.

Where can I find trans-friendly doctors?

Will my ÖGK student insurance cover doctor’s appointments?

There are doctors who have contracts with insurance companies for all these services, however, the waiting times can last from several months to several years (for example, for surgeons).

It is good to look at the information on the webpage of “Cha(i)nge Trans Peer Group Vienna”, call the doctors and assess what is more important at the moment: being able to get all the appointments sooner (and maybe even get some of the costs reimbursed by the insurance company later) or not paying anything and waiting a bit longer.

Having to pay for the first appointments with the surgeon to discuss your needs and prepare the documents for the insurance company to take over the costs of the actual surgery is also a practice that exists.

After getting all the doctors’ notes (3 documents from psychologist, psychotherapist and psychiatrist, endocrinologist/hausarzt prescription + blood test) you have to go to the insurance company office and apply for “Rezeptbewilligung” for HRT and only when they approve it you can get it, or for “Kostenübernahme” for the operation (the docs would be everything else you collected + a letter from your surgeon).

Where do I go if I still have questions?

AFAB – assigned female at birth. AMAB – assigned male at birth.
HRT* – Hormone replacement therapy.


@Cha(i)nge Trans Peer Group Vienna
@Iain Zabolotny
@Farah Bazant