They denounce obstacles in access to healthcare for immigrants with HIV

Test to detect HIV in a file image. / VICENTE VICÉNS/ AMG

Active Support and the Users Association claim less bureaucracy in cases of urgent assistance

Javier Perez Parra

Delays in granting the health card, obstacles to renew antiretroviral treatments or billing for the care received. These are some of the problems faced by immigrants with HIV who are in an irregular situation in the Region of Murcia, according to various organizations.

The latest case occurred last week. “A patient who only had medication left for two days was told, at the Santiago el Mayor health center, that she did not have the right to health care because her registration certificate had expired,” denounces Bartolomé de Haro, president of Active Support, an association that provides psychosocial assistance to people with HIV in La Arrixaca. Finally, the case was solved thanks to her intervention, but De Haro warns that it is not an isolated episode. “Medication cannot be delayed for a person with HIV because of a procedure, because not only will it worsen her health, but she can start transmitting the virus,” he explains.

De Haro relates other cases in which Active Support had to intervene. “A Venezuelan girl with HIV was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had to operate, but her intervention was DELAYED for her because she was told that they would have to make an invoice. In the end, they treated her but after having to overcome obstacles », she denounces. These are situations that do not surprise María Teresa Martín, president of the Association of Health Users. «In 2018, a decree was approved that ended in principle with health exclusion, but some criteria for access to the health card are maintained, which pose a difficulty. For example, you must have been registered in the Community for at least three months or have a report from a social worker. And, in the end, many autonomies apply this rule in a restrictive way.

In the Region of Murcia, former Minister Encarna Guillén approved a resolution that in practice annulled the effect of the health exclusion approved in 2012 by the PP, guaranteeing care for chronic patients (including people with HIV). “Paradoxically, there were fewer problems with Guillén’s rule than now,” warns Teresa Martín. Therefore, she asks the Ministry to apply that resolution.

“Card is not denied”

For its part, the Ministry of Health denies any obstacle. “No person is denied the card or health care,” they stress. “With the registration application and the passport”, a patient without resources can now have urgent access to HIV treatment, explains Salud. “Indeed, this is what was done in the last case, but after we warned of the situation. From the outset, what the patient found was a ‘no’”, replies Bartolomé de Haro. The Vihsibles association, which supports people with HIV, also warns of this type of obstacle.


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