Representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society have called for intense joint efforts to be made to eliminate discrimination in health-care settings. The call was made at an event entitled Catalysing Global Action to Stop Discrimination in Health Care, held on 25 May on the margins of the 70th World Health Assembly.
More than 100 participants attended the event, who agreed that stopping discrimination in health care is necessary for achieving universal health coverage, ending AIDS and guaranteeing healthy lives for all. Health-care settings are among the most common environments in which people experience stigma and discrimination, which leaves people behind and compromises health and social justice.
The participants committed to championing the Agenda for Zero Discrimination in Health Care, with the aim of securing political leadership, scaling up the implementation of comprehensive interventions and enhancing accountability.
“STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION REMAIN AN UNFORTUNATE REALITY IN MANY COUNTRIES. GOVERNMENTS MUST FIGHT ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AND WORK FOR THE WELL-BEING OF ALL THEIR CITIZENS. IN GHANA, INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION AND STRENGTHEN ACCOUNTABILITY.”
“ENDING DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE IS VITAL FOR ACHIEVING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND ENDING AIDS, TB AND HEPATITIS. STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION ARE OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE HEALTH RESPONSES IN ANY COUNTRY, REGION OR CONTEXT, AND NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN DIALOGUE WITH THE PEOPLE AFFECTED.”
“THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA IS A JOURNEY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE AND INCLUSION. IT IS PREMISED ON ELIMINATING INEQUALITIES AND DISCRIMINATION. WE HAVE DUAL EPIDEMICS TODAY, OF DISEASES AND DISCRIMINATION. JOIN FORCES, BECOME A CHAMPION FOR ZERO DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE!”
“THE 2030 AGENDA GIVES URGENCY FOR UPHOLDING THE RIGHT TO HEALTH OF EVERYONE, WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION, IN EVERY PART OF THE WORLD. WE NEED TO LEAD TOGETHER ON THE REALIZATION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS TO HEALTH THROUGH HEALTH.”
“PATIENTS NEED TO BECOME IMPATIENT. WE NEED TO CLAIM OUR RIGHTS AND DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY. IF WE ARE NOT AWARE OF OUR RIGHTS, WE CANNOT GET ANGRY ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE THE ENTRENCHED DISCRIMINATION. WE ARE ENTITLED TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE.”