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Committee appalled by repeated failures on treatment of Gypsy/Travellers, 24/09/12 [S]

The Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee has published a report on Gypsy/Travellers and care.

The report highlights as extremely concerning an average male life expectancy of 55 years, poor quality encampments located beside landfill sites and under electricity pylons, GP surgeries refusing to see patients, and unimplemented government recommendations and short-term initiatives.

Committee Convener Mary Fee MSP said:

“Access to health and social care alongside other public services must be universal. We look to the Scottish Government now to take the lead in making real, significant changes to the lives of Gypsy/travellers, with speed and commitment.”

The committee’s report recommendations also highlighted further issues including:

  • An investigation into the extensive delays in waiting times for aids and adaptations for elderly and/or disabled individuals living in caravans and chalets.
  • An assurance that alternative options for care support should be considered including drop-in surgeries and/or a network for GPs to share information on patients who may move from one local authority to another.
  • Strong leadership at management level in public sector services should ensure that policies on GP registration and treatment take into account cultural sensitivities and do not indirectly discriminate by requiring a fixed address for example.
For full details see the Equal Oportunities Comittee report which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament news release
Gypsy/Travellers and Care