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Patients with migrant backgrounds face discrimination in Netherlands: Report

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Oct 27, 2022 - 12:54 AM

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands (AA) – Some health professionals in the Netherlands have been discriminating against patients with migrant backgrounds, according to a report published recently.

Titled “Discrimination makes you sick,” the report by the Science Institute Statera, said the experiences of patients with migrant backgrounds included “not being taken seriously by their doctors, negative attitudes of healthcare professionals, and sometimes being exposed to open racism or discrimination.”

Many of these patients were treated differently due to prejudice, a lack of understanding and communication, or language barriers, said the report, adding that to fight discrimination in health care, such practices needed to be proven and measured, followed by appropriate measures.

The report also said patients “may receive poor treatment and attitude” due to their migrant backgrounds, even if they do not have a language barrier and are highly educated.

Detailed interviews with six professional health workers and a questionnaire among 183 participants provided the data for the study, it added.

‘Healthcare workers need better cultural training’

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Director Gokhan Coban said that with this research, Statera aimed to raise awareness on discrimination against patients of migrant origin in the healthcare sector.

“After discrimination by the Dutch tax office, it was seen that there is discrimination in the health sector on the basis of identity and religion,” said Coban.

This could be “very harmful to the health of the patient,” he asserted, adding that patients were “treated differently based on their identity or religion.”

He noted that discrimination in the Netherlands had become more prevalent in recent years. “The health sector needs to take this issue seriously.”

“First of all, healthcare professionals need to recognize the problem and find a solution because they often think they’re innocent or are unaware of their discrimination,” Coban said.

“Healthcare professionals need to receive better cultural training to be aware of their subconscious behavior towards foreigners,” he added.

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