Access To Health Care For People With Mental Disorders In Europe

Poverty and social exclusion continue to be serious challenges across the European union and for health systems in member states. People with mental disorders are at high risk of poverty, stigmatisation and social exclusion. They are also more likely to face physical health problems and to die prematurely. there is evidence that they do not receive the general health care that best responds to their needs. Improved access to general health care is therefore essential to minimising disadvantage for people with mental disorders. This policy Brief outlines hurdles of access to health care for people with mental disorders and discusses policy implications.

The results presented in this Policy Brief of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research are part of a research project on “Quality in and Equality of Access to Healthcare Services” (HealthQUEST) that was financed by the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. This study analysed barriers of access to mainstream healthcare services for people at risk of social exclusion as well as policies in Member States to mitigate these barriers. The study had a focus on three groups at risk: people with mental disorders, migrants and older people with functional limitations. Eight countries were studied in depth: Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. A special case study analysed the situation of people with mental health problems in depth. This is based on a literature review and input from eight country reports.

Source: European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

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