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Roma Minority Health Care Issues 2014 Essay

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Roma Minority healthcare issues in the EU and it's ideal Health Care System

Hector Garza

The Roma community is the largest ethnic minority in Central and Eastern Europe. As an ethnic group the Roma has been politically, socially, culturally and economically challenged by the dominant populations of the region. Due to their distinctive migratory lifestyles, resistance at assimilation and marginal social status they are not afforded the same rights as other European citizens. The European Union must put into perspective foremost a guiding economic principle for equal treatment and non-discrimination and ensuring further integration that will promote change for an ideal Roma health care system in the European Union.

Roma minority healthcare issues in the EU and its Ideal Health Care System
This essay looks at the issues of identity for the largest European minority group the Roma, or Gypsies, as it affects their social and economic repression. The research material that follows will show how negative stereotypes and misconceptions remain a major obstacle in the social wellbeing and the author's model to improve the delivery of health care for this subculture in Europe.       Culture of the Roma in the EU

The proper term to use to refer to Gypsies is Roma. The Roma people are believed to have originated from northern India and of Egyptian descent. To the Roma, the term gypsy is an offensive and derogatory as this name suggests being "gypped" or cheated and misrepresents the Romanian heritage. The unifying name, Roma, was accepted as a self-appellation in 1971 at the First World Romani Congress (Herakova, 2009). "The Roma population is the poorest and one of the fastest growing in the area, living predominately on the margins of society. They are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Europe" (Robinson, 2003).

The Roma has been persecuted throughout history, aggravated in Eastern Europe by a supposition that the Roma produced the nails used to crucify Christ (Kemp, 2002). During the Medieval times, the Roma was sometimes associated as the children of Satan and in the 1700s "Gypsy hunts" were conducted for extermination. This history of repression and ethnic discrimination was perhaps worst in Romania where the Roma peoples spent more than 600 years in slavery from the fourteenth to the mid-nineteenth century (Zeman, 2003). Subsequently, during the Second World War between 500,000 and 1.5 million Roma lost their lives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps while grouped with the Jews and the mentally ill patients (Kemp, 2002). After the war and since the fall of the communism in Europe, the Roma has migrated throughout Europe and the World and are a people without a land.

The Roma culture is distinct and diverse and their language has been influenced by Greek, Arabic, Slavic, and Sanskrit languages. Originally the Roma language existed only in oral form, but now is in written form. Often children are allowed to attend non-Roma schools and some have ...

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