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Women with disabilities without equal access to gynecological and obstetrical care. What is the MZ doing about this issue?

MedExpress Team

Published Oct. 17, 2023 09:09

Women with disabilities without equal access to gynecological and obstetrical care. What is the MZ doing about this issue? - Header image
The Ombudsman draws the attention of Health Minister Katherine Sójka to the individual needs of people with disabilities in accessing medical care services with a particular focus on gynecological and obstetric care.

Women with disabilities face additional barriers to obtaining appropriate medical services. Women with disabilities are in a special situation in the context of gynecological and obstetric care services. At each stage of the visit, they perceive a lack of such procedures, guidelines and recommendations related to appropriate service that would guarantee the necessary reasonable accommodation, elimination of barriers and appropriate treatment.

Architectural inaccessibility of the offices remains a major obstacle - especially for patients in wheelchairs - including the lack of gynecological chairs that allow them to be lowered, or a lift for transferring to the chair. 

According to analysis, only 122 surgeries in Poland have the convenience of a lowering gynecological chair, and only 9 have a lift. These surgeries are located both in facilities with a contract with the National Health Fund and in fully commercial entities. This means that, in some cases, the patient's ability to receive preventive examinations or proper pregnancy management depends on her financial capacity.

Expectations of people with disabilities not to feel discriminated against, mistreated or even insulted in surgeries involve the need to prepare staff to cooperate, sensitize them to disability issues and the difficulties of individuals. Appropriate measures should include training in knowledge of various disabilities, how to communicate, the form of providing information about the condition and chosen treatment, or making medical records available according to reported needs (e.g., so that people with visual disabilities can get them on readers).

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