Discrimination in health care institutions
You have visited a healthcare institution but were denied treatment, or you were mistreated, because of your social identity? Kosovo’s legislative framework – primarily the Constitution and the Law against discrimination – provides you with strong protection from discrimination in all spheres of life. However, the Law on Health also specifically states that healthcare services should be inclusive and prohibits discrimination on the basis of: gender, nation, race, color, language, religion, political preferences, social status, sexual orientation, the level of physical or mental abilities, family status, or age.
Your healthcare provider is bound by law to provide treatment without discrimination. If you feel that you have been discriminated by any medical worker, you can address the issue to any respective supervisor in the institutions hierarchy. In addition, Article 24 of the Law on the Rights and Obligations of Citizens in Health Care states that you have the right to lodge a complaint against the health institution within 60 days when the incident occurred. The health care institution should investigate the complaint and inform you in writing on the findings of the investigation. The healthcare institution should have internal operational rules for such procedures.
According to the Law on the Health Inspectorate, the latter is tasked with monitoring the implementation of all legislation related to the health sector, and is obliged to report any breaches of the law to the Ministry of Health, which in turn can issue specific and/or other fines. If you are not happy with the reaction of the Labour Inspectorate, you can always address issues to a competent Court – especially if you’ve been denied treatment and have been damaged as a result. You can also address the Ombudsperson Institution to claim your rights.