The Roma and healthcare in Hungary : todays challenges

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Wellman, Eija
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the Hungarian Roma population’s possibilities to access to healthcare. The study observed which kinds of problems it existed between healthcare professionals and the Roma clients and how those problems related to the accessibility of the Roma clients to the healthcare services. Also different kinds of tools and education systems that the healthcare professionals could need when working among the Roma minority were examined. The aim of the study was to produce information to help to improve the situation of the Roma minority in Hungary and in other European countries and to produce information which could be helpful to develop the education in multicultural healthcare. One part of the data was collected by thematic interviews held for two healthcare and Roma specialists working in Hungary in the capital region. Both of them had a long working experience in Hungary’s society and EU concerning the Roma clients’ situation. The other part of the data consisted of different researches, journals and reports from Hungarian healthcare-, human rights-, EU- and multicultural healthcare’s perspectives. The data was analysed by an inductive content analysis. The results of this study showed that in Hungary the Roma have equal rights to healthcare in theory, because they are Hungarian citizens as well. However the poorest Roma’s rights to equal accessibility have decreased. Discrimination and cultural differences prevented the good communication between healthcare professionals and the Roma clients. However healthcare professionals had developed cultural competence working with the Roma clients. Differences of three Roma sub groups involve more challenges for healthcare professionals. Lack of knowledge of the Roma culture is significant and that is why multicultural education with assertive line communication is needed. In following studies it would be relevant to examine which kinds of possibilities the Roma population who doesn’t belong to the official data, have to access to healthcare in Hungary. In the future Roma clients should to be interviewed as well. A new research in another European country could enable the comparison of the results of this study. It would be important to concentrate to the poorest Roma’s living conditions and thus try to help them to access quality healthcare. The findings of the research might be useful for developing the multicultural healthcare and education for healthcare professionals in EU countries. The keywords: The Roma, healthcare, human rights
Second semester University: Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest
health services, Hungary, Romanies