60.000 People sign petition against healthcare reform in Spain

Amnesty International, Doctors of the world and Red Acoge have collected and delivered 60.000 signatures to the Chairmen of the autonomous communities requesting that they refuse to adopt restrictive measures on access to healthcare and that they continue providing healthcare to everyone in compliance with international obligations and without regression or discrimination. The non-renewal of health cards to immigrants in an irregular situation as of September 1 could affect the life and health of thousands of people.

Aishi is a Moroccan woman. Because of the crisis, she lost her job, and with that, she lost her residence permit. She was diagnosed with breast cancer two and a half year ago when she was pregnant. She had a mastectomy and received chemotherapy. Now, she sees the doctor every other month. Without a residence permit, she won’t be able to continue her treatment.

Carmen is a Chilean woman, currently in an irregular administrative situation. She needs dialysis because her kidneys only work at 22% capacity. If she loses access to healthcare, she will not be able to afford the cost of the dialysis machine on which the treatment relies.

The Health reform introduced by Law-Decree 16/2012 can cost lives.

Limiting healthcare for irregular migrants over the age of eighteen to emergency care, pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care as well as the diminution of universal healthcare access to Spanish nationals over the age of 26 constitute regressive and discriminatory measures. In addition to infringing on international obligations, it has a great impact on the people’s right to life.

The Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union has stressed that "excluding migrants with irregular status from access to health care endangers their lives and wellbeing, increases the cost of a future emergency treatment and can also pose a potential health risk for the community."

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations is hoping that the “adopted health reform will not limit access to health care of anyone residing in Spain, whatever his or her situation may be”. It recommends reviewing the implemented reforms in order to safeguard levels reached in terms of economic, social and cultural rights from austerity measures. In any case, they should be temporary, proportioned and should not detract from these rights.

The Autonomous communities, in respect of their authority must guarantee access to and enjoyment of the right to health of all the people and therefore comply with their international obligations, without regression or discrimination. Without necessity of creating a parallel health system in collaboration with social organization that do not guarantee same level of quality.

For more information, visit the campaign website and read the full press release (both in Spanish).

TWITTER: No to health reform that can cost lives! @PICUM_Post @redacoge @amnistiaespana and @medicosdelmundo campaign #SanidadUniversal

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