Ambulance Not on the Way: The Disgrace of Health Care for Roma in Europe

04 September 2006

Ambulance Not on the Way: The Disgrace of Health Care for Roma in Europe

Racial discrimination against Roma in health care is manifested in exclusion from health services and/or in the provision of health services of inferior quality. Racial discrimination against Roma magnifies existing inequities establishing separate and independent barriers for Roma to enjoy the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Roma are often not covered by health insurance. Roma frequently lack one or more personal documents crucial for gaining access to health care, and in some cases may even lack the citizenship of any state. In some cases, access to health care is obstructed by the physical separation of Roma from the mainstream of social and economic life, in segregated communities where public services are restricted or entirely unavailable. In its most egregious forms, racial discrimination in the provision of health care manifests itself as denial of treatment of Romani patients by health care providers and/or in inappropriate and negligent treatment. Reports of segregation of Roma in medical facilities, verbal abuse and degrading treatment reveal a pattern of substandard level of health care provided to Roma. Finally, Roma have been subjected to extreme, race-based violations of fundamental human rights, through practices such as the coercive sterilisation of Romani women.

The full text of Ambulance Not on the Way: The Disgrace of Health Care for Roma

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