The health ministry's proposed rule change to allow public health insurance coverage of sex reassignment surgery for people with gender identity disorder (GID) offers those who face steep surgery costs a reason to cheer.

But there are concerns that more people with GID will undergo such surgeries without a full understanding of the associated risks.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Wednesday proposed to an advisory panel allowing the cost of sex reassignment surgery for GID patients to be covered under public health insurance from April. The panel essentially approved the proposal.