Defence Minister Maris Payne has defended public spending on gender transition healthcare for Australian troops.

One Nation senator Pauline Hanson raised concerns in the Senate yesterday about government spending on gender-related surgeries for trans military personnel, SBS News has reported.

The military has reportedly paid $1 million for 27 surgeries over the last five years.

Payne defended the spending, explaining that defence force members are not covered by Medicare and that gender dysphoria is treated according to clinical guidelines like any other medical condition.

Hanson claimed that gender transition procedures were being prioritised over other mental health care for troops, including for post-traumatic stress disorder.

She called gender transition a “personal choice” that would not help protect the country.

Payne said that the spending should be looked at in context, with the $1 million spent on trans surgeries forming only a small part of the $430 million budget for military healthcare.

The defence force’s spending on trans healthcare did not diminish its commitment to other healthcare and support for troops and veterans, she said.

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