Whereas the topic of the ‘cultural sensitivity’ of healthcare systems has been addressed extensively in the US and the UK, literature on the subject in most European countries, specifically looking at the situation of Roma, is still scarce. Drawing on qualitative research conducted mainly in the city of Barcelona under the communicative approach with Roma subjects who have stable socioeconomic positions and higher cultural capitals (end-users, professionals of the healthcare system, and key informants of a regional policy oriented to the improvement of Roma living conditions), the present study aims to fill this gap. We explore the barriers that the Roma face in accessing the healthcare system, reflecting on how these barriers are accentuated by the existing anti-Roma prejudices and institutional arrangements that do not account for minority cultures. Our results point out a series of obstacles at two levels, in the interaction with healthcare professionals, and in relation to existing institutional arrangements, which prevent Roma families from having equal access to the healthcare system. Education stands up as a mechanism to contest anti-Roma sentiments among healthcare professionals.
- Healthcare barriers
- Healthcare cultural sensitivity
- Roma health
- Roma values
- Roma women