Vulnerable, but able: Facilitating healthcare access across Europe

By Sascha Marshang, Policy Manager, EPHA

The VulnerABLE project began in early 2016 and aims to examine barriers and opportunities in accessing healthcare services for people living in vulnerable and isolated situations. Notably, an inventory of good practices is being created that will include a number of detailed case studies. The pilot project is commissioned by the European Parliament.

EPHA is a contributor to the pilot project since its inception earlier this year, and has conducted scoping interviews among the participating organisations’ members to identify key issues and themes related to the health needs and common obstacles experienced by people living in isolated and vulnerable situations, as well as how these are being tackled across Europe.

The interviews informed the creation of a survey currently being undertaken across Europe to obtain qualitative information directly from people living in isolated and vulnerable situations.  In addition, a good practice inventory is being created that includes over one hundred promising practices to overcome the barriers individuals from the selected target groups are confronted with on a daily basis.

A recent news item on the VulnerABLE project looks at some of the most interesting strategies being used to tackle health inequalities across Europe, including mobile health units. As a next step, thirty in-depth case studies on good practices drawn from the list will be undertaken.

Access to healthcare for disadvantaged people – whether by poverty, unemployment, homelessness, disabilities, migration or minority status – is a fundamental prerequisite to overcoming health inequalities, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and turning the mantra of ‘health is wealth’ into a reality.

Find out more about the project and sign up for the project newsletter here.

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