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Roma people generally have poorer health than the rest of population. Comes as no surprise: social conditions of Roma Community have normally been worst than the rest of the majority of population; lacking in education, access to employment, housing and economic resources.  
However, inequalities come both from socioeconomic variables, and from access to sanitary services and their effective use. Also, the current crisis and the widespread social cuts contribute to poor health. 


Health is one of the main evidences of welfare and life quality of people, groups and communities. Roma Community, as disadvantaged social and economic minority, is one of the population groups more susceptible of suffering from poor health. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), inequality refers to differences in Health, which are unnecessary, avoidable and unfair. To confront it, the WHO proposes the concept Health equity. Health equity doesn't intend the same health condition for everyone, but aims the supply of the same opportunities for evreyone, so they can enjoy all its potential health. 

Towards Health Equity

Roma people in Spain, in general, have worse health than the majority population (link to news). This conclusion is drawn from the latest national survey on Health and Roma population carried out by the Spanish Ministry of Health in 2014 and published in 2016 (link to study in Spanish). Specifically the levels of health, obesity, smoking and access to health services are worse in the Roma population than in the majority population. These data coincide with those extracted from the first National Roma Community Health Survey , 2006, carried out by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (link to report).

These are worrying data, especially considering that between 2006 and 2014, the Action Plan for the Development of the Roma population 2010-2012, was aproved by Spanish Council Of Ministers on 9th of April 2010. Subsequently, in line with the European Framework Strategy for Social Inclusion of the Roma population (European Commission on 5 April 2011) The National Strategy for the Social Inclusion of the Roma population in Spain 2012-2020 was approved by the Council of Ministers on 2nd March 2012. Despite these policies and programmes put into action, inequalities have not been significantly reduced. Therefore, it is necessary to review and evaluate the interventions and to implement, in the context of inter-sectoriality, new or more intensive, more effective, more equitable policies at all levels of governance - local, autonomous, national, European - to improve the health status  and reduces the inequity gap.

Comes as no surprise: social conditions of Roma Community have normally been worst than the rest of the majority of population

Studies on Health and Roma community