Transsexual former MP Georgina Beyer does not believe taxpayer-funded sex-change surgery should be available "off the rack" and has warned about a "Bruce Jenner effect" after a Young Labour proposal to ensure the operations are publicly funded.
The remit from the youth arm of the Labour Party has been passed by two regional conferences.
There is already limited public funding for four people to have the operation every two years. But the operations have effectively been on hold since early 2014 when the only surgeon doing them, Peter Walker, retired.
That means the operation can be done only overseas and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the Government was not considering that.
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Ms Beyer said the lack of a surgeon was a problem and she would not want to see the current funding decreased.
The remit had some merit for those who could not afford it, she said, "but I'm a bit wary of a 'buy it off the rack' kind of feel to it. I think the health system has a whole lot of other life-and-death things that should be given recognition before surgery such as this which only affects a tiny minority".
Ms Beyer travelled to Australia for her surgery in 1984 and paid for it herself. She said many transgender people were now able to work and earn the money for the surgery.
"Another concern is that a lot of these transgender people who are being strong advocates ... appear to have decided in the middle of their life that they're doing a Bruce Jenner and are going to go and get it done because they've got the wherewithal to suddenly change their lives in this way.
"For people just to walk in and have it done because they've had an epiphany, I'm a little more concerned about."
Bruce Jenner, a former Olympian who came back into the public eye through his relationship with the celebrity Kardashian family, recently announced he intended to go through the transition to become a woman.
Ms Beyer admitted her view would not be popular with transgender advocacy groups. About 60 people are on the waiting list for the operation.