Discrimination

Friday, 4 May 2012

Denial of Access to Health Insurance to Persons of Roma Ethnicity

 

 

 

The persons of Roma ethnicity without registered permanent or temporary residence are again denied access to health insurance. Some branches of the National Health Insurance Fund again request from persons of Roma ethnicity to enclose a proof of residence registration when applying for health insurance, and those who have not registered residence are prevented from acquiring the status of insured person. Those Roma who previously succeeded in obtaining health cards without residence registration are now not allowed to certify them.

Previously, the Rulebook on the Way and Procedure of Exercising the Rights from Compulsory Health Insurance stipulated the obligation of enclosing a proof of residence registration. However, after Praxis initiated a procedure for the assessment of legality of the Rulebook before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia, in July 2010, the Rulebook was amended and the obligation of enclosing a proof of residence registration was abolished for the persons of Roma ethnicity without permanent or temporary residence. The Rulebook was aligned with the Law, and many Roma were enabled to obtain health cards for the first time. Until the last month, these people were obtaining their health cards on the basis of Article 22 of the Law on Health Insurance that allowed Roma to acquire the status of insured person, regardless of whether they had a registered temporary residence, and on the basis of amended Article 7, point 11 of the Rulebook, which stipulates that instead of evidence on temporary residence, these persons may give a personal statement on their address.

When denying the right to health insurance to one of the most vulnerable groups in Serbia, the branches of the National Health Insurance Fund refer to the Regulation on the Content, Form and Manner of Submitting a Single Application for Compulsory Social Insurance, which stipulates that persons of Roma ethnicity should also submit a proof of residence registration. Such acting of HIF branches is not only contrary to the Law on Health Insurance, but also constitutes a violation of constitutional guarantees under which the achieved level of human and minority rights cannot be lowered.

Since the Roma who were not able to register their place of temporary residence were denied the right to health insurance in an unlawful manner, on 27 April 2012, Praxis submitted to the Constitutional Court an initiative for assessing the legality of Regulation, requesting from the court to issue a decision establishing that the disputed provision of Regulation was contrary to the Law on Health Insurance.
 
Related news:
 
Initiative for Legislative Review of Art. 7, Par. 11 of Rules of Procedure from Health Insurance
 
A Step Forward in Roma National Minority Exercising Right to Health Care
 

 

 

 

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action