A meeting of professionals from health care and governmental institutions, as well as members from NGOs and universities was held on Wednesday, June 26 in Budapest as part of the SHELTER project, which aims to support and advise victims of hate crimes through the health system. This was an opportunity to share a wide range of perspectives on the challenges in the health and legal systems.
The meeting was held at the National University of Public Service (NUPS). Once the guests were provided with an overview of what this project was by the main organising partners (Prof. Dr. Andrea Kozáry and Tamás Dombos from NUPS and Marcell Lőrincz from Subjective Values Foundation), Dr. Zsuzsanna Széll from the Semmelweis University shared with the participants her own experience in the field of research about the health care of minorities and the results of previous studies. She outlined the difficult objective measurability of minorities in the healthcare system, mainly for patients with self-reported minority status. She presented statistical data on the grievance suffered by different minority groups during medical care, and the consequent problems such as their lower likelihood of going to the doctor and their very low participation in medical screenings.
Another research was also presented by Gábor Héra, from Artemisszió Foundation, which examined the attitudes of health care professionals about the concept of “being different” and the “problematic patient” phenomenon. With a sample of less than 10 people, the doctors involved in the research highlighted cultural and linguistic differences as well as hygiene problems as their main challenge. It can be concluded from the survey that the overload and the functioning of the health care system generate and strengthen these problems on the one hand and can lead to possible negative attitudes on the other.
However, professionals were not the only ones to be represented: a victim of a crime and activist, Erika Renner, also introduced her own case. She told her story and her experiences as a victim in the health care system with doctors, the public sphere, and civil victim support organizations. As a particular problem she mentioned the lack of information that victims receive. The main need defined was to have a complete health team that would help victims, and a protocol with which victims would not have to find the various support services on their own, but they would instead be offered holistic help in the hospitals.
Finally, this meeting concluded with a time for sharing the different perspectives and discussing the challenges in both the health and the legal system. As we reflected on this, various questions, problems and ideas emerged. We identified factors that may lead to insufficient care and support of hate crime victims by the medical team such as bad working conditions or lack of information. We talked about ways of improving our research and came out with the idea of trying to include more victims in it.
The next meeting, which will gather the same participants, will be held in November 2019.
You can find the Facebook page of the SHELTER project here.