On February 20th the fact sheet on “Inequalities and multiple discrimination in healthcare” was published. It outlines the policy context and legal framework in the EU to address multiple discrimination and presents the project’s objectives. The investigation focuses on identifying barriers and experiences of discrimination that prevent access to healthcare services. In addition, it maps policies in EU Member States to improve health services for people who are at risk of being discriminated; and determine ways through which health professionals can address the needs of such people.
The fact sheet is available in Czech, English, French German, Italian and Swedish.
Article 21 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights addresses discrimination. Each European citizen should be free of discrimination regarding their age, sex, ethical background, religious belief and sexual orientation. Unfortunately, on a daily basis people are faced with discrimination on one or more grounds, so called multiple discrimination. Currently, EU laws only protect people against one kind of experienced discrimination, for example sexual, racial and ethical origin, while accessing healthcare. Yet, experienced discrimination on multiple grounds, for example being a 45 year old pregnant woman, being discriminated on grounds of her age and sex are yet not established in EU laws.
Everyone has the equal right to access and receive healthcare, regardless how old they are, male or female, of Swedish or Spanish origin. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to identify barriers and experiences of discrimination preventing access of healthcare. Inequalities of healthcare should also be addressed by educating healthcare staff on how they can deal with the needs of vulnerable people.