Early in December, jointly with the Slovak equality body – Slovak National Centre for Human Rights – we met with representatives of the health emergency service in Košice and discussed with them the discriminatory treatment towards Roma minority we had documented. During our monitoring in the marginalised Roma communities of Svinia, Jarovnice and Hermanovce, Roma complained to us that emergency service staff refused to come directly to patients in excluded Roma communities. They stop at the beginning of the community and ill people or women in labour have to come to their car themselves.

Following the documented discriminatory practices we found, we filed a complaint with the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, and jointly initiated the meeting.

We found it positive that the emergency service accepted our invitation to the meeting and did not deny many of the facts we argued.

We hope that the discussion at the meeting will contribute to making the necessary changes and that the discriminatory practice of the health emergency service against the Roma population will cease. We will continue to monitor the situation in the communities in this regard.