Nobody left behind - Improving access to healthcare for underserved people

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 | 14.45-17.15 | Kursaal C

Organised by MSD

Addressing gaps in health equality is on the EU agenda. Indeed, there is a growing acknowledgment of the need to address health inequalities across different key groups.

In particular, discriminated, underserved, marginalised or vulnerable people (i.e. migrants, sex workers, LGBTs, people who inject drugs, prisoners, and the homeless) are at significantly higher risk of poor health and have a substantially greater risk of contracting infectious diseases. Yet at the same time, our healthcare systems are poorly designed to address their specific needs. As a result, they often experience severe inequities in access to care and poorer health outcomes.  In short, the groups most in need of care are often the least likely to receive it.

Using a highly interactive format, this session will explore the harsh realities and multiple challenges faced by these key groups owing to the presence of multiple legal, political, economic, social and organisational barriers.

Starting at street level, community representatives and health policy experts will provide snapshots of the reality and challenges faced by these diverse groups to access healthcare. Our discussions will then move to an interactive workshop in which all participants will help identify needs, commonalities and potential policy responses to address these inequities. Finally, we will discuss the potential of an EU-wide policy response to improve equitable access to care and inclusion of underserved people in Europe.

Each facilitator will set the scene with a story/descriptive from a particuar point of view about access to healthcare and barriers or the policy environment/system structure which enables or blocks access.

Street narratives

  • sex workers - outreach, access to healthcare
  • MSM - outreach, access to HIV/HCV services
  • homeless - outreach, access to healthcare
  • migrants - barriers in access to care
  • PWID - harm reduction, community care

Delivery of care at the community level

  • prison health, HCV/HIV prevention & testing services
  • addiction treatment, training of the medical sector

Health systems design to promote universal access

  • universal access to care, WHO building blocks, regional guiadance

Two discussions rounds lead by one of the facilitators:

  • What are the main challenges and common needs in accessing healthcare for key populations?
  • What would be the policy response at each level of policy-making, and practical solutions to help create a more inclusive, more effective health service design?

In this part each facilitator will summarise their group's ideas, common threads identified and aim to highlight one key thing they learned which could be shared across groups.


F3 Programme PDF
Eurohealth Gastein Edition 2017

World café facilitators & moderators


ALYNA SMITH, Advocacy Officer, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

ANASTACIA RYAN, Programme Officer, International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE)

GEORGE KALAMITSIS, President of Prometheus, Hellenic Liver Patient Association, Greece

EBERHARD SCHATZ, Project Coordinator, Correlation Network

FREEK SPINNEWIJN, Director, European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

ANDREJ KASTELIC, Head of the National Centre for the Treatment of Drug Addiction, Ljubljana, Slovenia

RACHEL HALFORD, Deputy CEO, Hepatitis C Trust, UK

JEFFREY LAZARUS, Professor of International Health Systems, International Health, Immunology & Microbiology Department, University of Copenhagen


DENIS ONYANGO, Head of Programmes, African Advocacy Foundation

BORIS AZAIS, Director Public Policy, MSD Europe & Canada

Biographical information

NameAzaïs, Boris
CVDownload PDF
NameHalford, Rachel
CVDownload PDF
NameKalamitsis, George
CVDownload PDF
NameKastelic, Andrej
CVDownload PDF
NameLazarus, Jeffrey
CVDownload PDF
NameOnyango, Denis
CVDownload PDF
PresentationDownload PDF
NameRyan, Anastacia
CVDownload PDF
NameSchatz, Eberhard
CVDownload PDF
NameSmith, Alyna
CVDownload PDF
NameSpinnewijn, Freek
CVDownload PDF



View complete photo collection

/latest update 12.10. md/

EHFG News & Updates

EHFG Headquarters

EHFG Vienna Office

VAT No. ATU44155007 Bank Data:
IBAN AT 152040400200222240 
Bank Salzburger Sparkasse
Kurgartenstraße, 5630 Bad Hofgastein, Austria