We saw in yesterday that the World Health Organisation’s HLMDD (code name for High Level Meeting on Disability and Development) took place in Geneva on Monday this week. The meeting was focused on improving access to healthcare and rehabilitation for the 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide. The meeting heard the Director-General of the World Health Organisation say that the most common barriers to accessing health care and rehabilitation are stigma, discrimination, lack of accessibility, and difficulty with paying.
Two types of statistics appear to have emerged from the meeting: (1) People with disabilities’ experience of health care compared with people who don’t have disabilities, and (2) lack of access to the provision of rehabilitation aids and equipment.
1. Comparative Statistics:
- People with disabilities are twice as likely to report that health care providers’ skills do not meet their needs;
- People with disabilities are three times as likely to be denied healthcare;
- People with disabilities are four times more likely to be treated badly when receiving health care.
2. Access to aids and equipment:
- Around half of the one billion people with disabilities cannot afford the healthcare they need and are 50 per cent more likely to suffer “catastrophic heath expenditure” that leads to poverty;
- 360 million people have moderate to profound hearing loss, but the production of hearing aids only meets 10 per cent of the global need and just 3 per cent of the need in developing countries;
- 200 million people needs glasses or low vision devices but have no access to them;
70 million people need a wheelchair, but only 5-15 per cent have access to them.