Access to health is a fundamental human right of persons with disabilities, recognized and protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, however, patients with disabilities who seek cross-border healthcare encounter serious difficulties, since the time in which they try to find information about your rights: this is what emerges from a report presented by the European Disability Forum on the occasion of the World Day for Safety of the Patients of the 18 of September last, patients with disabilities who seek cross-border healthcare encounter difficulties in finding information on your rights: in fact,, only 16 websites of the National contact points set up by the respective ministries of Health (that of the Italian Ministry of Health can be reached at this link) provide adequate information on the rights to care in their territory and 17 on care in other member states of the European Union. Only 9 of those sites also report on the physical accessibility of health facilities, and none of them even report on reasonable adjustments of health facilities and services. And yet, only 2 provide information on access to mental health care, none on sexual and reproductive health care specifically targeted at people with disabilities. In general, there are only 14 EU member states that prohibit discrimination based on disability and require reasonable solutions for access to health care.

Such data is indeed dismaying, are found in the report by the EDF, the European Disability Forum, titled Access to cross-border healthcare by disabilities in the European Union (available in full at this link) and on access to cross-border healthcare by patients with disabilities in the European Union. The document was made public on September 18, on the occasion of the World Patient Safety Day, promoted by the World Health Organization.

“Access to health – recall by EDF – is a fundamental human right of persons with disabilities, recognized and protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the European Union and all its member States, as well as by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the european Union. In accordance with community law, in fact, patients have the right to seek health care in other Eu Member States other than their own, however, the exercise of this right depends to a large extent from the way it is interpreted and implemented, and the level of discrimination that specifically, patients with disabilities, they may face when they seek health care.”

The report produced by EDF therefore aims to contribute to the evaluation by the European Commission of how the patient mobility directive is applied, but also and above all to identify the additional measures necessary at community level, which ensure better access to cross-border healthcare by people with disabilities. (S. B.)

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