Program statusnih i socioekonomskih prava

petak, 3. april 2015.

Unregistered Pregnant Woman in Need for Urgent Medical Care

Blog by Praxis' Intern Aleem Datoo from Northeastern University

H. K. is a 35-year-old legally invisible woman from a Roma community in Kosovo. After spending most of her life in Kosovo, H. K. met a Romani man and decided to move to eastern Serbia with him. Unfortunately, H. K.’s family did not take well to her decision and decided to disown her. This meant that when she arrived in Serbia, not only did she lack an official identity, but she also had no contact with her family in Kosovo.

H. K. realized that she needed to register as a Serbian citizen. On her behalf, her husband contacted Praxis and asked the legal advisors to start the process of acquiring her legal identification documents.

H. K. later became pregnant with twins. On March 9, seven months into her pregnancy, she suddenly fell ill with extreme hypertension and swollen limbs. Her husband realized the danger of the situation and immediately took her to a local village clinic. Due to the severity of her condition, the clinic said that they were unable to help her and advised her to go to a hospital in the city of Pozarevac. She and her husband encountered problems upon arriving at the Pozarevac Hospital. The nurse they were directed to refused to assist them because H. K. lacked an official identification number, as well as a Health Card. As H. K.’s condition worsened, her husband decided to call someone from Praxis to ask for help. After briefing the Praxis legal advisor about the situation, Praxis communicated directly with the nurse to find a solution. The legal advisor demanded that H. K. be treated immediately. According to Serbian Law, free care must be given by a public hospital in any emergency situation, regardless of whether or not the person has identification documents. He also went on to explain that H. K.’s severe symptoms, along with being pregnant with twins, was reason enough to consider the situation an emergency. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, 12 patients received treatment before the hospital saw H. K. The delay in her treatment could have caused irreversible damage to her or her babies. On March 16 H. K. delivered the twins prematurely at Pozarevac Hospital. The babies are currently in incubation in Belgrade and will remain there until they are strong enough to go home. 

H. K.’s story is not an isolated incident. Discrimination in the health care system is a widespread issue, particularly for members from the Roma community who do not have access to status rights. We need to ensure that the health care system implements the law correctly and that those who provide discriminatory treatment are held responsible. 

Pročitano 6454 puta
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action