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Access to healthcare for people facing multiple health vulnerabilities
Obstacles in access to care for children and pregnant women in Europe
May 2015

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In spite of the growing awareness and literature on health inequalities, the people encountered in MdM programmes often fall through official surveys and are currently not captured by health information systems. This is why each year, the MdM International Network Observatory on access to healthcare publishes a report on the social determinants of health and health status of the patients met by MdM teams.

The 2015 “short European” report is based on 42,534 face-to-face medical and social consultations provided to 23,040 individuals seen in 25 cities in nine European countries and Turkey. The quantitative analyses are supported by case studies and an analysis of the legal framework concerning access to healthcare (both in theory and in practice).

Europe is the cradle of human rights – the range of international texts and State commitments that ensure people’s basic and universal rights is impressive. Yet this report shows how, in practice, these promises too often remain just words rather than effective progress. We want to reiterate, once again, the need for unconditional access to both antenatal care for pregnant women and to essential childhood vaccinations, neither of which are currently universally guaranteed.

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The infographic summary can be downloaded here.

The complete report that presents the results of all the analyses, and that also includes Montreal (Canada), is available here.

Chauvin P, Simonnot N, Vanbiervliet F, Vicart M, Vuillermoz C. Access to healthcare for people facing multiple vulnerabilities in health in 26 cities across 11 countries. Report on the social and medical data gathered in 2014 in nine European countries, Turkey and Canada. Paris: Doctors of the World – Médecins du monde international network, May 2015.

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cover photo legal

The most important barrier to healthcare faced in the surveyed countries is restrictive national laws. This is why MdM also published a legal report on access to healthcare in 12 countries (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom). We hope it will be a useful tool for healthcare professionals, researchers, NGOs, policy makers and other stakeholders to better understand the legal and administrative barriers that stop people from taking care of their health.

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