he COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the human and financial costs of poor investment in health prevention services among vulnerable groups in Europe. Disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups, such as Roma, LGBTQ, older persons, persons with disabilities, persons living with mental ill health and psychosocial disabilities, homeless people, prisoners, sex workers, refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, persons using drugs, people living at risk of poverty are amongst those who are particularly vulnerable. Unequal access to health and preventive services, inadequate housing, living and working conditions are responsible for poor health, leading to greater exposure to the health and economic effects of COVID-19.

Poor mental and physical health, and pre-existing health conditions are also likely to decrease their already weakened ability to combat the virus. Discrimination, racism, domestic violence restrict vulnerable people’s access to good quality healhtcare even more. Right now they cannot benefit from health interventions and preventive actions such as testing, quarantine and timely medical treatment or even running water. Strong social and economic investment are at the base of the recipe to reduce health inequalities.

Human rights principles must prevail, so EMSA alongside European and National Organisations and under EPHA’s coordination have joined forces, calling authorities to undertake targeted actions to provide sustainable solution and work to ensure better health for all.

Check the joined statement for more information: https://epha.org/joint-statement-vulnerable-groups-should-…/