A transgender beauty pageant being held in Melbourne this weekend is under scanner for promoting a free sex change in Thailand as its major prize. The Miss Gay and Ms Transsexual Australia 2016 beauty pageant for the gay and transgender community is offering the winner a gift voucher for free sex reassignment surgery at the Kamol Hospital, in Bangkok.

Doctors have criticized Australia’s premiere pageant for the transgender community for its “irresponsible” prize offer. Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons president Hugh Bartholomeusz told the Herald Sun that such free sex reassignment surgery offer “trivialises something that should be only undertaken after careful consideration and research.”

“Gender reassignment is not something to be entered into lightly and requires multiple expert consultations with both surgeons and psychologists,” Bartholomeusz told the website.

Bartholomeusz also warned the Australian transgender community of the possible risks of carrying out such complicated surgeries overseas. “When people travel overseas for operations there are less likely to be appropriate cooling off periods and adequate provision for after care should complications occur,” he warned.

However, pageant founder Gayzha Davao said that there is no compulsion on the winner to accept this prize offer. She also added that her organization would not be responsible for any mishap that might happen with the surgery, if the winner decided to undergo the same.

Davos refrained herself from comparing the hospitals in Thailand to its Australian counterparts because she believes that “they’re all good hospitals.” She also said that the sex change surgeries are “really quick” and she is aware of many people who went to the Thai hospital and same back satisfied. She also reiterated that the prize would actually “promote awareness” about the LGBT community.

Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia is a beauty queen pageant for transvestite/female impersonators/drag queen performers and transgender women from all around Australia, the pageant’s website says. The event is founded and run annually in Melbourne since 2010 by Victorian Secrets Promotions, a Melbourne-based non-profit organisation headed by event promoter Davao.

In a span of three-hour stage show, there are three competitions – Miss Gay Australia and Miss Transsexual Australia. The Miss Gay and Miss Transsexual Australia 2016 will be held on Jan. 30, 2016 at the The Substation, 1 market St, Newport. Th event will be hosted by Artistic Director of All The Queens Men Tristan Meecham.