Healthcare inequalities presented in Geneva

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Civil society organizations from Macedonia presented the situation with the human rights before the permanent foreign diplomatic missions in Geneva on the session of the Universal Periodic Review (Universal Periodic Review – UPR).

 

The National Roma Centrum attended the session for representation of the Universal Periodic Review – UPR, on which civil society organizations from Macedonia presented the situation with the human rights before the permanent foreign diplomatic missions in Geneva, Switzerland. The session was held on November 29, 2013, in the United Nations. Aleksandar Danilov, who is part of the team of the project “From increased voice to the improved health care access” was NRC’s representative in Geneva.

Marija Gelevska, deputy executive director and coordinator for monitoring the human rights and the provision of legal and psychological help at ESE – Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women in Macedonia, presented the human rights situation in the country on the session, referring to healthcare rights, especially the healthcare rights of Roma.

The contribution of the National Roma Centrum in filing the Universal Periodic report was focused on issues such as: limited access to health care for socially vulnerable categories of citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, unequal access to antenatal care and to healthcare services during the reproductive period.  It was supported by the previous activities of the organization in this field which included field research and interviews with Roma women, conducted in 2011. Within the campaign “From increased voice to the improved health care access” we prepared a legal analysis of the legislation in the Republic of Macedonia related to prenatal care and assessment of the financial implications of the proposed measures by the National Roma Centrum.

In the submission, the key problems which were stressed were: insufficient access to public services, poor coverage of Roma with healthcare services and the cases of discrimination in the healthcare system. In its research, the National Roma Centrum documented cases of discrimination against Roma women in obtaining healthcare services among certain gynecologists.

In the submission of the coalition of civil society organizations, which refers to the health of the Roma, several problems and challenges were identified:

  • The poor socio-economic situation prevents Roma to cover the cost for participation of hospital treatment and therapy at birth;
  • Roma women have worse health situation compared with the rest of the population;
  • Unsatisfactory/poor implementation of the Healthcare programs which include the Roma, and insufficient funds allocated for realization the planned activities;
  • Limited access for Roma women to gynecological services because of lack  of doctors specialists in public healthcare facilities and underdeveloped healthcare infrastructure in the areas where Roma live;
  • Lack of official data on a national level for most common diseases among the Roma population.

The report of the Macedonian civil society organizations will be reviewed on the eighteenth session of the working group in January and February 2014. Then we will make recommendations that will be sent to the authorities in the Republic of Macedonia.

 

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